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Explosion-hit China oil pipeline closed forever

( Xinhua )

Updated: 2013-11-27

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QINGDAO - An oil pipeline section in Qingdao of East China's Shandong province has been permanently ordered out of service following the deadly oil-fueled explosions in the coastal city on Friday.

The rescue headquarters said on Wednesday that a section of pipeline linking Qingdao's Huangdao District with Dongying City, also in Shandong, has been shut down after it was identified as responsible for the leakage that caused the blasts.

At 3 am on Friday, crude oil began leaking from an underground pipeline operated by Sinopec in Huangdao.

The spill then flowed into the city's rainwater pipe network, which empties into Jiaozhou Bay. Explosions ripped through residential and commercial roads in Huangdao at around 10:30 a.m. on Friday when workers were clearing the spill.

The blasts have taken 55 lives, injured 145 others and left nine people missing.

The section of the Dongying-Huangdao crude oil pipeline had been in service for 27 years, the headquarters said.

Meanwhile, it added, all oil and chemical pipelines under another two major roads will be moved to underground passages used exclusively for petrochemicals in another part of Huangdao.