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Oil spill off Philippines coast leads to evacuations

Hundreds of thousands of litres leak into Iloilo Strait

Monday 06 July 2020 10:40 BST
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Oil began leaking after an explosion on a barge off the cost of Iloilo City
Oil began leaking after an explosion on a barge off the cost of Iloilo City (EPA)

More than 400 people have been evacuated from a coastal village in the central Philippines after some 250,000 litres of oil spilled from a power-generating barge into the sea, an official said on Monday.

“The stench was so bad we have to move people away to two schools and last night there was a request for a third evacuation site,” Jerry Trenas, mayor of Iloilo City, said.

The spill began on Friday when an accidental explosion on the barge blasted a hole in its hull. There were no reported injuries.

The accident has not affected the power supply to the commercial city of about half a million people because it has other power sources, Mr Trenas said.

The coast guard said it was investigating and charges may be filed against the owners of the barge if needed.

Associated Press

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