Locals clean beach after oil leak in eastern Thailand

Locals cleaned up the beach after an oil leak in eastern Thailand.

Residents were joined by more than 60 soldiers as they removed the stains on the beach with oil-absorbing sheets in Rayong province on February 2.

Floating booms were installed to keep the oil from spreading further into the water while volunteers used oil spill kits. Garbage that came ashore was also cleaned up.

The spill reportedly came from damaged facilities and oil tanker buoys and underwater pipelines of Star Petroleum Refining Public Company Limited which had since been suspended by the Marine Department until it was fixed.

Marine Department Phuriphat Teerakunphisut said: ‘We have filed a complaint against them and would not be able to operate until this was fixed. They will have to correct this first.’

After the cleanup, a survey from the army’s cruiser, aircraft, and satellite imagery showed no more oil spills. Four sets of oil booms have been placed in different areas to prevent the stains from reaching Ban Phe bay, Prao Bay, and Koh Samet island.

Khao Laem Ya-Koh Samet National Park head Tawat Jenkan said: ‘We were worried about this spill because the area was home to more than 10,000 hectares of seagrass and corals. On top of that, we were only starting to recover from the oil spill in 2013. We were relieved something was done about it.’