Oil workers, the Thai navy and volunteers are scrambling to clean up an oil spill that occurred over the weekend and has drifted over to Koh Samet’s Prao Bay, on the western side of the island.
About 50,000 liters, or about 50 tons, of crude oil leaked from an offshore hose belonging to PTT Global Chemical PCL, on Saturday morning, CNN reported. The leak has since been fixed.
The accident is Thailand’s third-worst oil spill ever, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Prao Bay is now drenched in black oil and has been closed while it is cleaned up, a process that is expected to take seven days, Sumet Saithong, chief of Khao Laem Ya–Mu Ko Samet National Park, told CNN.
"The incident happened during the low season and on the quiet side of the island, so the impact on tourism is still very limited," Chuchart Oncharoen, the director of Rayong's tourism authority, told the Associated Press.
However, there is concern that the oil slick could spread to more beaches across the island if it is not contained quickly.