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South Korea Struggles To Clean Up Oil Spill

South Korea Struggles to Clean Up Oil Spill

South Korean officials say the last of three holes in the hull of a supertanker was plugged early Sunday, stopping thousands more tons of oil from spilling into the Yellow Sea.

More than 10,000 tons of crude oil gushed into the Sea Friday after a barge struck a Hong Kong-registered supertanker anchored five kilometers off the port of Mallipo, about 90 kilometers southwest of Seoul.

The country's worst-ever oil spill began washing onto the southwest coastline Saturday, polluting beaches and threatening valuable fish farms.

Thousands of police, troops, civil servants and volunteers are working along a 17-kilometer stretch of the west coast to clean up the foul-smelling crude oil.

Maritime Minister Kang Moo-hyun told reporters Sunday it will probably take more than a month to clean up the mess.

The collision left three holes in the 146,000 ton Hebei Spirit's hull.

The tanker was carrying more than 260,000 tons of crude oil.


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