Tue, August 30, 2011
China > Mainland

Dalian oil refinery blaze put out as residents voice pollution fears

2011-08-30 14:23:33 GMT2011-08-30 22:23:33(Beijing Time)  Global Times

Thick smoke rises from the site of a fire at a refinery owned by PetroChina in Dalian, Liaoning Province around 10 am on Monday. (Photo: CFP)

A fire that broke out at an oil storage facility containing 800 tons of diesel oil at around 10 am on Monday in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, has been put out with no casualties, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

A blast in the pipeline linking two oil tanks triggered the fire, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Public Security, but the cause of the blast is still being investigated, according to a staff member surnamed Sun with the publicity department of the Dalian government.

The fire occurred in a refinery owned by PetroChina in Dalian, one of China's leading oil producers, at 10:06 am but was put out at 1:20 pm after the government dispatched more than 50 fire trucks to battle the blaze, according to a statement given by the publicity department of Dalian government to the Global Times on Monday.

"All people, including government leaders and firefighters, left the accident site after the blaze was put out," Sun told the Global Times on Monday.

Jiang Zhigang, a Dalian resident who lives two kilometers from the site, told the Global Times that he heard an explosion at around 10 am, when the accident occurred, and nearby residents could smell a pungent odor at the time.

"I could see heavy smoke coming out from the accident scene, and the smoke lasted for around three hours," Jiang told the Global Times.

"The smoke gave me great discomfort in my nose and eyes," Jiang complained.

Although the fire was extinguished, the accident has led to fears among Dalian residents that the fire might cause environmental pollution, according to Jiang.

In response to the residents' worries, the Dalian government publicity department released a statement indicating that the government has carried out tests on air quality, finding that there has been no resulting pollution to surrounding waters or atmosphere.

The water used to fight the fire has been discharged into an emergency pool rather than the ocean, and sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide levels in the air meet national environmental standards, according to the statement.

The environmental tests are still being carried out, according to the government statement.

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