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Last Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007, 11:27 GMT
In pictures: S Korea slick clean-up

An aerial view of the sea shows oil slicks reaching to the beach near Mallipo, South Korea

Crude oil continues to threaten beaches and wildlife on South Korea's west coast after the country's worst spill.

Local residents use baskets to remove dense crude oil at the Mallipo beach, South Korea

Thousand of local residents, police and volunteers are trying to clear the oil from the country's coastline.

The Hebei Spirit oil tanker

The oil is leaking from the Hong Kong-registered Hebei Spirit, which collided with a drifting industrial barge near the coast of Taean on Friday.

South Korean soldiers shovel oil at the Mallipo beach

The clean-up operation has continued over the weekend but some locals say they are afraid the beaches will never return to their previous condition.

Local residents attempt to clear oil near the Mallipo beach

More than 9,000 people are attempting to clear the beaches, while 140 ships are fighting the spill out at sea.

Veterinarian Kim Shin-Hwan shows migratory birds covered in oil

There is particular concern for bird life as the slick has covered important transit points for migrating birds.

Local fisher raise barriers around their seaweed farms near the Mallipo beach, South Korea

Local fishermen have raised barriers in an attempt to prevent the oil from contaminating their seaweed farms.

A starfish covered in oil at Shinduri beach near Taean, southwest of Seoul

More than 20 million tourists are drawn to the natural beauty of the area every year, but officials say numbers are likely to drop significantly.

A man holds a jellyfish covered in oil on Shinduri beach in Taean, west of Seoul, South Korea

An investigation has been launched into the accident and a state of emergency has been declared.

A man scoops oil into a bucket

But the national media has accused the government of taking too long to respond to the disaster.

S Korea declares slick 'disaster'
09 Dec 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Oil spill after S Korea collision
07 Dec 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: South Korea
11 Aug 07 |  Country profiles

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