Nearly 48,000 liters of oil spill into Iloilo City waters after power barge explosion

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Around 48,000 liters of oil spilled into waters off Iloilo City on Friday after an explosion at a power barge, local disaster management officials said. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 3) — Around 48,000 liters of oil spilled into waters off Iloilo City on Friday after an explosion at a power barge, local officials said.

Authorities estimated an area of 1,200 square meters was affected by the spillage. The Coast Guard also pegged that about 40,000 liters were spilled.

Courtesy: Leo Solinap

"Current efforts involve scooping and skimming of spilt oil in order to contain the spill led by the [Philippine Coast Guard]," said the city's city's emergency operation center.

According to reports from the Coast Guard Saturday, one of the tanks exploded due to hot work as acetylene was used to open rusted compartments.

The explosion took place at 2:24 p.m. at AC Energy's Power Barge 102 in Lapuz district's Barrio Obrero, officials reported. The fire was declared out by 3 p.m. The barge's estimated capacity is 200,000 liters.

AC Energy said that the oil spill was initially blocked by a structure surrounding the barge but high waves caused it to spill out.

The PCG added that approximately one hectare of mangrove area has become a “proximate sensitive area” to the oil spill, as revealed by environment scanning.

The Marine Environment Protection Unit of Western Visayas has already installed five segments of oil spill booms to the water ingress point to prevent damage to the mangrove, the PCG said.