Cleanup begins after oil leak in China's Yellow river branch

The leak took place in northwest China's Shaanxi province. The company said on Saturday that it has immediately shut down the pipeline due to the accident, which led to "large amounts" of diesel fuel leaking into the Chishui river as well as the Weihe river - a major branch of the Yellow river.

The leak was discovered early Wednesday. The Shaanxi provincial government said the oil leaked from a branch of the Lanzhou-Zhengzhou-Changsha pipeline.

The leakage site was near the Chishui river in Huaxian county, 3 km upstream the Weihe river and 73 km upstream the Yellow river, the authorities said.  The company has built 23 blocking belts on the rivers and the government built three more dams to prevent leaked oil from flowing into the Yellow river.

So far, much of the leaked oil and polluted silt has already been taken away, according to the company.  Despite the cleanup, oil has been detected in the river water 33 km downstream of the leakage site, the government said. It added that it has warned the local residents not to use the river water directly as the leakage may pollute the Yellow river.

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