Bulker and tanker collide off China’s Qingdao port causing an oil spill

A Panamanian general cargo ship Sea Justice collided with an anchored Liberia-flagged tanker A Symphony in Qingdao Chaolian, Shandong on April 27, causing an oil spill in the Yellow Sea.

Illustration; Image courtesy: Indian Navy

Based on the available data, the Suezmax tanker, laden with 1 million barrels of bitumen blend, suffered damages to some of its cargo holds. A small amount of oil was detected in the water, according to Shandong Maritime Safety Administration.

Hong Kong-based fuel trading company Run Cheng International Resource (HK) Co is the owner of the 150,000-tonne cargo of bitumen blend on board the A Symphony, Reuters reported.

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“The two ships are in stable condition with no casualties. After the accident, the Marine Search and Rescue Center of Shandong Province and Qingdao City immediately initiated emergency response,” the administration said.

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The scale of the spill is yet to be determined.

“The force of the impact on the forward port side caused a breach in cargo tanks and ballast tanks, with a quantity of oil lost into the ocean,” Reuters cited a statement from A Symphony’s manager Goodwood Ship Management. ​

As informed, all crew members have been accounted for and there were no injuries.

The cause of the incident is believed to be heavy fog which hampered visibility in the area.

Several ships are said to be on the scene working to curb the leak and clean up the spill.