By AIBING GUO
An oil tanker exploded while undergoing repairs at an eastern China shipyard, killing seven people, injuring one, and causing oil to leak into the Yongjiang River, Xinhua News Agency reported today.
The blast happened about 8:40 a.m. local time as the 300- ton ship was being repaired at the Zhangjianqi shipyard in the Zhenhai District of Ningbo city in Zhejiang Province, Xinhua reported. The cause of the explosion is under investigation and the amount of oil leaking isnt known, according to the report.
All fires were extinguished by about 2 p.m., according to a post on the citys official news website. Six vessels have been deployed to contain the leak, Xinhua reported, citing the provincial maritime affairs bureau.
The ship, Xuyang 11, started service in April 2005, according to the government website. It didnt say whether the tanker was fully loaded at the time of the explosion.
Zhenhai is home of Sinopec Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Company, owned by China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec. The refinery can process as much as 23 million tpy of crude, according to the refiners website. Lv Dapeng, Sinopecs Beijing-based spokesman, didnt answer two calls to his office.
The 131-kilometer (81-mile) long Yongjiang River is a major source of drinking water to Ningbo citys population of more than 7 million people, according to Xinhua.