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South-central Vietnam beach riddled with oil of unknown origin

South-central Vietnam beach riddled with oil of unknown origin

Friday, March 18, 2022, 14:44 GMT+7
South-central Vietnam beach riddled with oil of unknown origin
Crude oil masses of unknown origin appear on a beach in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, March 17, 2022. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

Crude oil littered a three-kilometer beach in Nha Trang City under Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam on Thursday, though no oil spill or shipwreck had been reported in the vicinity, according to local authorities.

The oil was first noticed on late Wednesday afternoon, according to Huynh Binh Thai, head of the Nha Trang Bay management board.

Thai’s unit had discovered a smaller amount of crude oil on Nha Trang beach last year.

People walk near crude oil masses of unknown origins on a beach in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, March 17, 2022. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

People walk near crude oil masses of unknown origin on a beach in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, March 17, 2022. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

Local authorities have yet to discover the source of the oil, though they did reiterate that no spills, shipwrecks, or leaks have been reported.

Meanwhile, local residents said the burnt smell has led them to believe it was secretly discharged from a cargo ship.

A crude oil mass of unknown origin appears on a beach in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, March 17, 2022. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

A crude oil mass of unknown origin appears on a beach in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, March 17, 2022. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

Environmental workers began a clean-up on Wednesday afternoon but had yet to finish as of Thursday.

“This oil sticks to sand and other things, so it is difficult to collect it,” said environmental worker Bui Thi Thanh Mai.

“From yesterday afternoon until now, we have collected more than 100 sacks of oil, each of which weighs about 50 kilograms.”

An environmental worker cleans crude oil masses of unknown origins on a beach in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, March 17, 2022. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

An environmental worker cleans crude oil masses of unknown origin on a beach in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, March 17, 2022. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

“These black crude oil masses are scattered along the coast,” said Nguyen Ngoc Anh, a resident of Nha Trang City. 

"It makes us wonder whether it's safe to swim in the sea.

“I am quite concerned.”

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Bao Anh - Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre News

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