Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency after a massive consignment of 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil leaked into a river within the arctic circle. The spill apparently happened when a fuel tank collapsed near the Siberian city of Norilsk.
The collapse happened near a powerplant. The plant is owned by Norilsk Nickel who is the world’s leading nickel and palladium producer. Vyacheslav Starostin, the director of the power plant, has been taken into custody. However, he is not charged yet.
President Putin was shocked to hear about the incident. He was even more shocked to learn that the local authorities were flagged through the social media two days after the incident had happened. In his televised meeting, Putin criticized the region’s governor Alexander Uss. According to a report by Reuters, the oil has flown into the Ambarnaya River and has turned into a crimson stretch of 7.5 miles.
1.5 billion dollars to be spent for clean-up
The Ambarnaya River feeds the Lake Pyasino that flows into another river and finally ends up in the arctic ocean. The oil has also contaminated the Daldykan River. The company, as a part of its justification, came out and said that the spilling might have happened because of the sinking pillars that support the tank. The CEO of the company Sergey Dyachenko said that it has caused by soil thawing.
As per the experts, the overall damage it could cause if it enters the Arctic region is immense especially because of the fragility of the region. The former deputy head of Russia’s environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor said that such kind of incidents never occurred in the Arctic region. The clean-up could reportedly take 5-10 years and the estimated cost of the clean up is close to 100 billion roubles that is over 1.5 million dollars.
Alexie Knizhnikov, the World Wildlife fund’s expert that the accident is believed to be the second-largest in the country’s modern history just going by its sheer volume. It is being compared to the discharge to the Exxon Valdez tanker spill that happened in Alaska in the year 1989.
Source: India Times