Sri Lanka works to clean oil slicks near capital

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka has deployed hundreds of coast guard and navy personnel to clean oil slicks on a coastal stretch near the capital following a spill caused by a pipeline leak.

Saumya Ekanayake, a spokesman for the government’s Marine Environment Protection Authority, says the leak occurred Saturday night in a pipeline carrying oil from tankers to a storage facility on the land, releasing about 25 tons of furnace oil. The leak occurred off Uswetakeiyawa, a coastal town about 14 kilometers (9 miles) north of Colombo.

Ekanayake says the leak caused oil slicks in a coastal stretch of about 2 kilometers (1 mile).

About 300 navy troops and coast guard staff were deployed to clean the area. Ekanayake said Monday that it will take two or three days to complete the task.

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