Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crews clean up after oil geyser near Vancouver

" Some of the oil reached Burrard Inlet via storm sewers where witnesses said it stained shoreline rocks. Containment booms have been put in place. Federal Environment Minister John Baird took a boat tour of the area.

The oil geyser left trees, yards and construction equipment coated in thick black goo. There were no injuries, but Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said officials were concerned about the long-term environmental impact.

Corrigan also said a map given to the road repair crew by Kinder Morgan may have had incorrect information on the line's location, but a company official denied that to local media.

"This is an unusual situation in which obviously things went very very wrong," Corrigan told reporters.

The broken line links Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline system with Westridge Marine Terminal, where crude oil is shipped to overseas markets and aviation fuel for Vancouver International Airport is received.

An airport official said the pipeline used to ship aviation fuel was not affected by the accident."

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Experts were assessing the environmental damage on Wednesday after a ruptured pipeline showered a residential area in suburban Vancouver with crude oil, some of which seeped into a nearby Pacific Ocean inlet.

Crews attempted to mop up pools of thick black oil left by Tuesday's accident in Burnaby, British Columbia, when a road repair crew struck the 24-inch line that transports crude from a storage facility to a terminal in Vancouver's port.

Representatives of pipeline owner Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP did not return phone calls on Wednesday, but local media quoted a company official as saying an estimated 1,400 barrels of oil leaked out in the accident.

Witnesses said a geyser of black oil spewed up to 12 meters (40 feet) in the air for more than 20 minutes before the line was shut down.

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