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South Korea sets $849 milion payout for 2007 oil spill

Published on Jan 17, 2013 11:46 AM

SEOUL (AFP) - A South Korean court has ordered a US$694-million (S$849 million) compensation payout to victims of the country's worst oil spill, which fouled miles of coastland in 2007, decimating local fishing and tourism industries.

"This is the first estimate of the damage officially made by the court. It is the first big step towards compensating those affected by the oil leak," court spokesman Choi Noo Lim told AFP on Thursday.

The spill occurred when a a Samsung Heavy Industries barge carrying a construction crane broke free and rammed an anchored Hong Kong-registered supertanker, which subsequently leaked 10,900 tons of crude oil.

Miles of beaches, notably in Taean county about 110 km southwest of Seoul, were smothered by the spillage.

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