Sea oil line rupture causes contamination off Ulsan

ULSAN, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- An oil line transferring crude from a tanker to shore ruptured Sunday causing contamination off the coast of Ulsan.

The Ulsan Coast Guard said the rupture took place at 4:45 a.m. when a 160,000-ton Panama registered tanker was transferring oil to a pipeline buoy.

"There was a crack in the oil line between the ship and the pipeline buoy that caused the oil to leak into the sea," an officer on site said. He said maritime authorities in the industrial city, located 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul, were notified of the incident by the tanker crew.

The buoy is owned by SK Energy Co. and has pumps that can help send oil from a ship to the nearby Onsan Industrial Complex in the southern part of Ulsan.

The Coast Guard has called for several water surface cleaning boats to deal with the spill and is currently trying to figure out what caused the accident.

It is also trying to discover exactly how much oil has leaked into the sea, although preliminary estimates indicate a relatively small amount.

They said that the tanker arrived at its station near the buoy at 10:20 p.m. Saturday and had been transferring oil. All operations have been halted to prevent further leaks, authorities said.

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