Bacteria used to clean up China's worst spill
Hundreds of boats with vats of "oil-eating" bacteria were tackling China's worst oil spill yesterday.
Seven days after two pipelines of crude oil exploded in Xingang port in north China, the slick has spread more than 360 square miles, according to Chinese reports.
Although the slick is only a 10th the size of the 3,000-square-mile blanket of oil that has covered the Gulf of Mexico, its impact is likely to be severe. One rescue worker has already died after falling into the oil and all fishing off Dalian has been banned.
Workers were woefully unprepared for the clean-up, with some using their gloved hands and plastic bags to remove oil from the water. More than 800 vessels are involved in the clean-up, many of them equipped with special oil-eating bacteria, grown by a Chinese company. The bacteria break down the toxic hydrocarbons in oil into less harmful compounds.(© Daily Telegraph, London)