Major oil spill discovered in Thailand
Between 20 and 50 tonnes of crude oil have ended up in the sea after a pipeline started leaking about two miles from popular beaches in Thailand.
So far, the oil has been kept away from coastal areas thanks to weak currents, and there have been no reports of effects on marine life. However, winds are feared that could blow the oil to major beaches in Rayong province or the island of Koh Samet by Friday evening if it is not cleaned up before then. If the oil reaches the coast, it could damage coral and seaweed, among other things.
Several planes, ships and a helicopter from the Thai navy are working to deal with the oil, which has spread over a more than 11 square kilometre area.
According to Star Petroleum, which operates the pipeline, it involves between 20 and 50 tonnes of crude oil, about 22 000 to 60 000 litres. According to the company, divers have found a fault in a hose that is part of the equipment.