Leaked oil from a ruptured pipeline in an eastern Chinese port city exploded today, killing at least 35 people, injuring 166, and contaminating the sea in one the country's worst industrial accidents of the year, authorities said. The leaked oil triggered two huge blasts, one of them tearing up concrete along a city road in Qingdao. Photos posted online showed ripped slabs of pavement, bodies, overturned vehicles, and shattered windows in nearby buildings.
The pipeline owned by China's largest oil refiner, Sinopec, ruptured this morning and leaked for about 15 minutes onto a street and into the sea before it was shut off. Hours later, as workers cleaned up the spill, the oil caught fire and exploded in two locations, the city government said. Authorities ruled out terrorism, but the incident remained under investigation. More than 32,000 square feet of sea surface was contaminated.