Oil spill from barge explosion in Philippines’ Iloilo City stretches over two kilometres

Photo: Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippine Coast Guard has confirmed that oil that had leaked from a floating power barge off Iloilo City has now stretched out to more than two kilometres and has reached the coast of the nearby island province of Guimaras.

Skimmer boats manned by coast guard marine environmental protection personnel from Iloilo and Guimaras have been deployed to contain and recover the spilled oil, which was the result of an explosion that had occurred on Power Barge 102 at around 14:20 local time on Friday, July 3.

Local officials had initially estimated the spill to be limited to within an area of 1,200 square metres.

Although the oil has spread out over a greater distance, the coast guard clarified that more than 40,000 litres have already been recovered and that the remaining oil in the waters between Iloilo and Guimaras is estimated at 8,000 litres.

Recovery operations are still underway as an investigation has been launched to identify whether the incident had been caused by safety violations on the part of the barge’s owners.

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