Southern California officials warn residents to stay away from beaches as a 21-mile oil spill is about to wash ashore

Newport beach. Allen J. Schaben / Getty Images

  • A leak in a pipeline is believed to be the cause of an oil spill. The Los Angeles Times reported.

  • The 21-mile spill is located off the coast of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach in Southern California.

  • The spill is expected to make landfall sometime Saturday evening, and officials warned against swimming.

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City officials in the city of Newport Beach, California, are warning residents not to swim on beaches after a major oil spill off the coast is expected to make landfall sometime Saturday night.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the 21-kilometer slick comes from a leak in the pipeline. The spill extends between Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach city officials also closed their beaches from about 7 p.m. local time.

In a tweet, officials said they are closely monitoring the situation.

Kate Conrad of Beta Offshore, a Southern California oil producer, told the Times that the incident was reported around noon on Saturday and workers had shut down the pipeline shortly after. Crews also used pressurized equipment to retrieve oil, KABC reported.

Also the coast guard said it responded to the spill, as did the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in a tweet on Saturday afternoon.

CDFW did not respond to Insider’s request for comment, but spokesman Eric Laughlin told the Times that people should not approach affected wildlife as it could do more harm than good.

“Members of the public should avoid the oiled shoreline as the area is unsafe and should only be cleaned by trained contractors,” Laughlin told the Times.

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