Port security under scrutiny after Dalian oil spill

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On Thursday, local authorities were still making all-out efforts to contain the oil spill, mobilizing hundreds of fishing boats, specialized cleaning vessels, "oil-eating" bacteria and volunteers to reduce the environmental impact of the spill. Many volunteers are using their hands to clean up the oil in the water and the beaches.

Dalian is one of China's major oil production and distribution hubs. It also has popular beaches, many of which were closed after crude washed up on them.

The Shenyang Evening Post, a newspaper based in Liaoning's provincial capital Shenyang, reported on Thursday that oil had penetrated at least 30 cm into the sand at Poshiwan Beach.

The report also said three major aquaculture areas off the Dalian coast are under threat.

Clean-up workers are racing to clear the oil as quickly as possible.

Firefighter Zhang Liang, 25, drowned on Tuesday after a wave slammed him into the sea as he worked to clean a boat pump.

Amid the cleanup efforts, an oil tanker stopped at the Dalian Xingang Port on Thursday, the first tanker to do so since the explosion of the pipelines.

The tanker is scheduled to take on 35,000 tons of oil. Loading operations have yet to begin.

Meanwhile, the oil pipeline connecting Dalian Xingang Port and Dalian Petrochemicals that exploded has been repaired and has resumed operations.

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