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Home Latest News President Vladimir Putin declares state of emergency after Arctic Circle oil spill...

President Vladimir Putin declares state of emergency after Arctic Circle oil spill accident

The plant is owned by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, which is the world`s leading nickel and palladium producer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency after 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil leaked into a river within the Arctic Circle, said a BBC report adding that the spill took place when a fuel tank at a power plant near the Siberian city of Norilsk collapsed on May 29.

President Putin expressed anger over this incident and in a televised video conference reportedly lambasted the head of the company over its response. The plant is owned by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, which is the world`s leading nickel and palladium producer.

“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?” Putin reportedly asked the subsidiary`s chief, Sergei Lipin.

The spill has contaminated a 350 sq km area, the BBC quoted state media reports as saying. President Putin has ordered a probe into the accident.

According to the reports, the accident took place when the pillars supporting a fuel tank at a power plant began to sink. The area is built on permafrost which has been melting as the climate warms. 

The leaked oil drifted some 12 km from the accident site, turning long stretches of the Ambarnaya river crimson red.

Norilsk Nickel, however, stated that the incident had been reported in a “timely and proper” way.

The power plant’s director Vyacheslav Starostin has been taken into custody until 31 July. The Russian Investigative Committee (SK) has launched a criminal case over the pollution and alleged negligence, said the report.

The leaked oil has reportedly drifted some 12km from the accident site, turning long stretches of the Ambarnaya river crimson red. The spill has contaminated a 350 sq km (135 sq mile) area, according to state media report.

The oil spill accident is stated to be the second largest in modern Russian history in terms of volume.

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