Oil Spill Kills Birds, Closes Beaches near Alameda, California

ALAMEDA, Calif., Nov. 1 (UPI) — Fishing has been suspended and beaches are closed near an oil spill that occurred during the fueling of a 600-foot Panamanian tanker, California officials said.

The Dubai Star left a 2-mile-long, 200-yard-wide oil spill of approximately 100 gallons near Alameda, Calif., due to a mechanical failure during the fueling the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times reported Sunday. The spill killed an undetermined number of birds, the newspaper said.

“We expect the cleanup to last for days,” Petty Officer Levi Read of the U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday.

Crews were checking coastlines for tar balls. Officials said the spill could reach shorelines at Bay Farm Island, Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island.

Alameda Point, Crown Beach and Middle Harbor beaches were closed and boat launches were shut down at Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline. The beaches were closed to afford wild birds a place of refuge to escape the oil, the newspaper said.

The California Department of Fish and Game suspended shellfish harvesting and fishing in the areas affected by the oil spill.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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