At least 93,000 liters of oil from a leaky pipeline pollute the water on the California coast. There is now evidence that the pipeline has been damaged for a long time.
Los Angeles – The leaked oil pipeline off the coast of Southern California was probably damaged months ago, according to the authorities.
Jason Neubauer of the US Coast Guard said videos from the site of the accident indicate that the concrete-jacketed pipeline may have been moved by a ship’s anchor a long time ago. The longer crack, from which large amounts of oil leaked last week, probably appeared later.
The operating company last examined the pipeline with a diving robot in October 2020 and found it to be normal. The damage could have occurred at any time thereafter, it said. Storms last winter could also have caused additional damage.
The investigators now want to trace the shipping traffic at the accident site up to a year back. The German container freighter “Rotterdam Express” had recently anchored there. According to the Hamburg shipping company Hapag-Lloyd, the ship is no longer suspected of being involved in the oil spill off the southern California coast. “The investigations have been discontinued,” said a Hapag-Lloyd spokesman on Friday of the dpa.
According to the Coast Guard, at least 93,000 liters of oil leaked from the leaking pipeline. The authorities named an amount of around 500,000 liters as the “worst scenario”.
The cleanup of the polluted sea and beaches in Orange County continued on Friday. The number of helpers is to be increased to 1,500 by the weekend. Many beaches are closed. dpa