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Sri Lanka works to clean oil slicks near capital

/ 10:04 PM September 10, 2018

Sri Lankan army soldiers remove oil slick and sand from a beach following an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, a coastal town north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Sept. 10, 2019.Sri Lanka deployed hundreds of coast guard and navy personnel on Monday to clean oil slicks on a coastal stretch near the capital following a spill caused by a pipeline leak. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka deployed hundreds of coast guard and navy personnel on Monday to clean oil slicks on a coastal stretch near the capital following a pipeline leak.

Saumya Ekanayake, a spokesman for the government’s Marine Environment Protection Authority, said the leak occurred Saturday night in a pipeline carrying oil from tankers to a storage facility on land, releasing about 25 tons of furnace oil. The leak occurred off Uswetakeiyawa, a town about 14 kilometers (9 miles) north of Colombo.

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The leak caused oil slicks along a stretch of the coast about 2 kilometers (1 mile), Ekanayake said.

About 300 navy and coast guard personnel were deployed to clean the area.

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Ekanayake said the leak had stopped, but it would take two or three more days to complete the cleaning task.

He said the authority was investigating the incident.

A similar oil leak occurred in 2015 in a pipeline in the same area.  /kga

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TAGS: clean-up, environment, International news, news, oil spill, Pollution, Sri Lanka, world, world news
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