|Volunteers lay straw mats to absorb spilled oil on a beach in Shicao Village of Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, July 21, 2010. Volunteers from Dalian Environment Protection Volunteer Association joined in clean-up work of spilled crude oil caused by the oil pipeline explosion occurred on July 16 in Dalian. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
The clean-up started last Saturday. On Tuesday, Dalian officials said they have in total mobilized forty special oil-skimming vessels and about 800 fishing boats to mop up most of the slick by the weekend.
"Our priority is to collect the majority of the oil within five days to reduce the possibility of it contaminating international waters," Dai Yulin, vice mayor of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, told Xinhua Tuesday.
Further, he said maritime agencies have set up 40 monitoring stations to watch a 1,500-square-kilometer area off the city's coast.
Maritime agencies and oil companies have laid down more than 15,000 meters of oil barriers to prevent the slick from spreading while biotechnicians are using 23 tonnes of oil-eating bacteria to dissolve toxic compounds in the oil-polluted waters.
A 25-year-old firefighter, Zhang Liang, drowned Tuesday after the wave took him away when he went underwater to clean the boat pump. Another man who was thrown into the sea by the wave was rescued.
The Dalian oil reserve is at the heart of northeast China's crude oil production base and it is one of China's largest oil industry bases while Dalian Port is China's second largest port for crude oil imports.