A barge collided with a massive oil tanker this morning about five miles off the coast of South Korea, damaging the tanker’s single hull in three places and resulting in an oil spill estimated at about 2.7 million gallons. The over four-mile-long oil slick is slowly making its way toward what were once probably some very nice beaches and a national maritime park. An official at the country’s fisheries ministry said, “This is the country’s worst oil spill. We worry about an ecological disaster.” South Korea’s previous largest offshore spill occurred in July 1995 when a tanker struck a rock. However, officials hope the more wintry conditions this time around will help slow the spread of the spilled oil.

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