Sri Lanka works to clean oil slicks near capital

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka deployed hundreds of coast guard and navy personnel on Monday to clean oil slicks on a coastal stretch near the capital following a pipeline leak.

Saumya Ekanayake, a spokesman for the government's Marine Environment Protection Authority, said the leak occurred Saturday night in a pipeline carrying oil from tankers to a storage facility on land, releasing about 25 tons of furnace oil. The leak occurred off Uswetakeiyawa, a town about 9 miles north of Colombo.

The leak caused oil slicks along a stretch of the coast about 1 mile, Ekanayake said.

10 PHOTOS
Sri Lanka oil spill
See Gallery
Sri Lanka oil spill
Members of the Sri Lankan coast guard remove oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Oil glows of a member of the Sri Lankan coast guard as he removes oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Members of the Sri Lankan navy remove oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
A member of the Sri Lankan coast guard removes oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
A member of the Sri Lankan coast guard removes oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
A member of the Sri Lankan coast guard pulls absorbing sheets as he removes oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
A member of the Sri Lankan coast guard watches while removing oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Members of the Sri Lankan coast guard remove oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
A member of the Sri Lankan coast guard removes oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Members of the Sri Lankan coast guard remove oil from a beach after an oil spill in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

About 300 navy and coast guard personnel were deployed to clean the area.

Ekanayake said the leak had stopped, but it would take two or three more days to complete the cleaning task.

He said the authority was investigating the incident.

A similar oil leak occurred in 2015 in a pipeline in the same area.

Read Full Story