S. Korea Rushes to Contain Spill

Spill occurred near ecologically sensitive coastline
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 11:35 AM CST
A South Korea's Coast Guard ship spays dissolving agent over oil-covered water to prevent furhter spread of the oil spilt by a Hong Kong-registered tanker after an accident near the Mallipo beach, South...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – South Korea has sent out a fleet of ships to try to prevent 2.7 million gallons of oil that leaked from a supertanker from reaching an ecologically sensitive shoreline, the AP reports. A crane-carrying barge collided with the tanker 93 miles southwest of Seoul, causing the spill. Authorities are setting up fences to try to contain the nearly 5-mile-long slick, the largest spill in South Korean history.

The coast near the spill is both a popular beach attraction and an important region for migrating birds. The tanker was at anchor when the accident occurred. The barge was being towed from a construction site in high winds and waves when the wire to the tugboat snapped, and it went out of control.