Oil leaks anew from pipeline in Bataan

DINALUPIHAN, Bataan — Almost four months after an oil leak was discovered in this town, unleaded gasoline leaked again on Friday from the portion here of the 94-kilometer oil pipeline that runs from the Subic Bay Freeport to Clark in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Excavation with the use of a backhoe to locate the pipeline began on Saturday at an area close to the river below the bridge in Barangay Luakan in this town where residents discovered the oil leak.

Workers from the Clark Pipeline and Depot Company placed oil spill booms and spill pads on the river to prevent the spread of the unleaded gasoline.

They took oil residues out of the water and placed these in oil containers.

“The oil leak is strong and the smell is too strong,” said Edgardo Jocson, whose house is adjacent to the bridge.

While the excavation was going on Saturday, the smell of unleaded gasoline was hard to bear in the direction of the wind.

Luakan Barangay Captain Alfredo Santos said he went to the area after the matter was reported to him by Jocson.

“I saw the oil floats on top of the water. It smells too strong and it is dangerous as someone might throw cigarette. That’s why I reported the oil leak immediately to the firemen, policemen and to our mayor,” the village chief said.

“There is no need for our barangay residents to worry as immediate action has been done,” Santos said.

He said he was informed that excavation and cleaning of the river will go on the whole night and round-the-clock until the leaked pipe is found and the water cleared of oil.

In the first week of last February, oil leak was also discovered in San Ramon village in Dinalupihan, more than a kilometer away from Luakan.

When the Americans pulled out of Subic in 1992, they left the pipeline believed constructed more than 48 years ago.

The oil pipeline starts at the former American naval base in Subic Bay, passing through Dinalupihan and some towns in Pampanga to Clark Air Base. PNA/northboundasia.com