Thai beach closes after oil spill washes ashore

A beach on Thailand’s east coast was closed as oil leaking from an underwater pipeline washed ashore.

The leak from the pipeline of the Star Petroleum Refining Public Company started on January 25 and had been brought under control one day later, the firm said on Saturday.

The company estimated that up to 50 tonnes of oil had been leaked, reports Xinhua news agency.

The oil slick covered a total area of around 67 square km of the sea Saturday morning, a satellite image from the government’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency showed.

Oil reached the shoreline of the Mae Ramphueng beach in Rayong province, forcing the local government to declare the beach a disaster area and close it to the public for clean-up operation.

The provincial authority also ordered surrounding shops to stop trading until the situation is resolved.

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