Taean, South Korea, December 21, 2007
—Scores of volunteers, residents, and soldiers march along the coast near Taean, about 105 miles (170 kilometers) southwest of Seoul, on their way to help clean up South Korea's worst ever oil spill.
(Watch video of volunteers helping with the cleanup and wildlife rescue
A December 7 collision between a barge and a supertanker sent about 78,920 barrel's worth of oil gushing into the sea near the country's western coast. On December 25 the South Korean government seized the Hong Kong-registered tanker to try and force its owners to pay for the ongoing cleanup efforts.
Meanwhile, the Korea Times
reported on December 27 that nearly half of the volunteers working on the oil-drenched beaches were experiencing headaches, nausea, or vertigo from exposure to toxic chemicals.
In a survey of 221 volunteers conducted by the Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health at Korea University, about 98 percent said they were not given proper safety instructions.
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Photograph by Hong Jin-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images