There is again another incident in the far north of Russia. In the industrial region of Norilsk, near the Arctic Ocean, large quantities of fuel have entered the environment for the second time in a short period of time. The accident occurred while pumping fuel from a barge into a tank storage.
Norilsktransgaz, a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, confirmed the incident. According to Interfax, the incident occurred as a result of a pipe burst while pumping aviation fuel from a barge to the oil storage facility. According to the company’s press service, the leak occurred at 11:15 a.m. on July 12. The incident is believed to have occurred in the middle of the four-kilometre-long Norilsktransgaz pipeline, which pumped fuel from the ship’s berth to the tank. It took 15 minutes for the pressure drop to be detected in the pipeline.
Up to 44.5 tons of the pollutant entered the environment near the Taimyr village of Tukhard. The village is located near Big Kheta, a tributary of the Yenisei River that flows into the Arctic Ocean. According to initial information, however, the spilled kerosene did not reach the local river, various sources told the news agency.
However, spilled fuel reaches a small 6,000 m2 lake. The kerosene was pumped out and an oil barrier was set up to prevent further spread.
Representatives of Norilsktransgaz began to eliminate the spill itself and believe that a major catastrophe was avoided. The company is conducting an internal investigation into the incident and has sent information to the Department of Emergency Services.
The investigating authorities pressed criminal charges for breach of environmental regulations.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal