The President of Russia has declared a state of emergency after it was discovered that 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil have spilled into the Ambarnaya river in the Arctic Circle, reports BBC.
According to reports, the cause of the spill was a collapsed fuel tank at a power plan in the city of Norilsk on Friday. The owner of the plant is a subsidiary under Norilsk Nickel, the world’s no.1 nickel and palladium producer. The plant manager has been taken in custody of the authorities, though no arrest has been made yet.
An inquiry into pursuing a criminal case against the pollution and alleged negligence has been set up. The reason for this is because there was a two-day delay in which the authorities were not informed.
The cause of the spill is presumed to be the ground caving in, as the arctic permafrost has been melting due to warmer weathers. The President expressed his rage at officials being informed so late, demanding answers for the delay. Apparently, the plant had spent two days trying to contain the spill themselves.
In a televised address, Mr. Putin said the following: “Why did government agencies only find out about this two days after the fact?” he asked the subsidiary’s chief, Sergei Lipin. “Are we going to learn about emergency situations from social media?
In response, the company has stated that they informed the authorities in a “timely and proper manner”.
The spill has turned a large portion of the Ambarnaya river red, with experts saying it could take 5-10 years and $1 Billion to clean up. Furthermore, this is not the first time Norisk Nickel has been involved in an oil spill either.