Oil slick at East Coast Park: Affected section of beach re-opened after cleanup operation

Contractors from NEA removing bags of oil stained sand from the beach affected by the oil spill at East Coast Park as at 5.30pm.
Contractors from NEA removing bags of oil stained sand from the beach affected by the oil spill at East Coast Park as at 5.30pm. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Contractors from NEA removing bags of oil stained sand from the beach affected by the oil spill at East Coast Park as at 5.30pm.
Contractors from NEA removing bags of oil stained sand from the beach affected by the oil spill at East Coast Park as at 5.30pm. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Contractors from NEA removing bags of oil stained sand from the beach affected by the oil spill at East Coast Park as at 5.30pm.
Contractors from NEA removing bags of oil stained sand from the beach affected by the oil spill at East Coast Park as at 5.30pm. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Workers cleaning up the oil spill at East Coast Park on July 20, 2017.
Workers cleaning up the oil spill at East Coast Park on July 20, 2017.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
A sign warning the public to keep away from the oil spill on July 20, 2017.
A sign warning the public to keep away from the oil spill on July 20, 2017.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - The section of East Coast Beach, which had been tarred by an oil slick since Wednesday, has been re-opened to the public.

In an update on its website and Facebook page on Thursday (July 20),  the National Environment Agency (NEA) said cleaning operations at the affected stretch of East Coast Beach, near Car Park F2 and the Bougainvillea Garden, has been completed.

It said test results have shown that the seawater quality is normal, and added that it is monitoring the situation closely.

The post was uploaded at 5pm.

The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said it was alerted at 5.42pm on Wednesday to the incident.

It said in a statement: "MPA has deployed patrol boats with oil dispersants along the area. There has been no sighting of oil found at sea. We are investigating the situation."

Clean-up operations started on Thursday morning at the beach, where a 400m section of the shoreline was affected by the oil patch.

When The Straits Times visited the affected area at around 8am on Thursday, workers were seen shovelling the sand covered by oil into wheelbarrows and transferring them into bags.

The affected stretch of East Coast Beach near Car Park F2 and the Bougainvillea Garden was temporarily closed to beach-goers to facilitate the clean-up of the affected area by NEA's contractors.

In January, an oil spill affected beaches here when two vessels collided near Pasir Gudang Port in Johor. Beaches at Changi, Punggol and Pasir Ris, as well as Pulau Ubin and Coney Island were all affected. More than 200 personnel were involved in the clean-up.