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Chinese oil pipeline burns; no deaths reported

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BEIJING (AP) — A leaking oil pipeline caught fire in the northeastern Chinese port city of Dalian but no deaths or injuries were reported, a government oil company said Tuesday.

The pipeline was damaged by construction work at about 6:30 p.m. on Monday, allowing oil to flow into a sewage pipe, where it caught fire, China National Petroleum Corp. said in a statement. It said the oil burned for 25 minutes before being extinguished.

CNPC said 20,000 nearby residents were evacuated.

China has suffered a series of accidents involving leaking oil pipelines. In June 2013, a leaking oil tank in Dalian caught fire, killing four people, and an explosion caused by a leaking oil pipeline last November in the eastern port city of Qingdao killed 62 people.

Such incidents have fueled opposition to allowing oil-handling facilities in densely populated cities. Members of the public have grown more alarmed about the proximity of oil lines to municipal utility lines, residential neighborhoods and commercial districts.

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