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Oil spill hits four Cebu coastal villages

March 25, 2007

03/25/2007 | GMANews.TV

Residents in some four coastal barangays (villages) in Balamban town and Toledo City in western Cebu were affected after a ship docked at a major ship-building yard caught fire and leaked bunker oil into the sea, a village official said Sunday.

Barangay Sto. Niño, Toledo City captain Haile Baron said the bunker oil came from the ship-building yard of the Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Cebu, Inc (THICI).

The sea near the coast of Balamban and Toledo is a protected marine reserve, Baron said.

Since Saturday, fishermen from the coastal areas said they failed to catch any fish because of the spill. Public beaches have also been closed to swimmers.

They said one of the ships being repaired caught fire last Saturday but the oil spill was quickly contained.

THICI environment security chief Leo Salubre said the company has deployed boats to put oil dispersants into the slick.

THICI, a Japanese and Filipino owned company, has made 37 big carrier ships since 1997 for international shipping companies and employs close to 6,000 people mostly from Balamban town.

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