Xuyang 11, a 300-ton oil tanker, exploded at Zhangjianqi shipyard of Ningbo city, Eastern China, during repair works. Xinhua News Agency reported that there are 7 victims, one has been injured and oil leaked into the main source for Ningbo city drinking water - the 81-mile long Yongjiang River.
The accident happened at 8:40 am local time. The reason for the blast is the bad ventilation of the fuel tanks. There were gases and they exploded because of the fire works during the maintenance of the tanker. The quantity of the oil leakage has still not been reported.
The fires were extinguished for less than six hours. The provincial maritime affairs bureau stated that the leakage has not been contained and 6 ships are continuing the work.
According to information from the government website, the service works of the oil tanker, Xuyang 11, started since April 2005. It is not mentioned if at the time of the blast the Xuyang 11 was fully loaded or not.
Xuyang 11 is owned by the Sinopec Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Company, property of China Petroleum and Chemical Corp.
According to the official Sinopec website, the company is able to process nearly 23 million tons of crude per year. Still their official spokesman, Lv Dapeng, did not give a statement.
The accident is an environmental disaster. Ningbo city is with population over 7 million and Yongjiang River is its major source of drinking water.