A large river in Siberia has been polluted with as much as 20,000 tonnes of fuel after a massive thermal plant leak. Satellite images published show large red spillages in the Ambarnaya river. Russian President Vladimir Putin has now been forced to declare a state of emergency in the country because of the crisis.
Locals have made efforts to contain the spill with a floating damn.
This is to block the dangerous water from flowing into a lake near the Arctic city of Norilsk.
The defence line on two arms is located approximately five to six kilometres from the lake.
The World Wildlife Fund environmental group thanked them profusely.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has now been forced to declare a state of emergency.
A statement read: “Thanks to the coordinated and operational efforts of all those involved in the oil spill response near Norilsk.
“It was possible to put up booms at the mouth of the Ambarnaya River before the stain hit Lake Pyasino.
“Successful spot localization does not mean that no pollutants have entered the lake.
“Alas, the most toxic components of diesel fuel are light aromatics (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene), which in significant quantities will nevertheless dissolve in water and can in no way be collected by booms.”
‘Successful spot localization does not mean that no pollutants have entered the lake’
The spill happened when a fuel tank at a power plant near Norilsk collapsed last Friday.
The power plant’s director Vyacheslav Starostin has been taken into custody until July 31, but not yet charged.
The Russian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case over the pollution and alleged negligence, as there was reportedly a two-day delay in informing the Moscow authorities about the spill.
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Addressing the plant director, Mr Putin asked: “What are we to learn about emergency situations from social networks? Are you alright health wise over there?
“Why did government agencies only find out about this two days after the fact?
“Are we going to learn about emergency situations from social media?”
Extra forces will be sent to the area to assist with the clean up operation.
The state fisheries agency warned it would take decades for the river to recover.