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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a state of emergency and criticized a subsidiary of Meta …Read more
Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin On Wednesday ordered a state of emergency and criticized a subsidiary of metals giant Norilsk Nickel after a massive diesel spill in the Siberian River.
More than 20,000 tonnes of diesel fuel leaked on Friday. A fuel reservoir collapsed at a power plant near the city of Norilsk above the Arctic Circle and plunged into a nearby river.
During a video conference, officials said the company reprimanded the head of Norilsk Nickel Subsidiary, the owner of the power plant, NTEK, for failing to report the incident.
“Why did government agencies come to know about this two days after the fact? Are we going to learn about emergency situations from social media? Are you very healthy there?” Putin told NTEK chief Sergey Lippin about the unusually harsh dressing-down on television.
Nornickel said in a statement that NTEK had described what happened in a “timely and appropriate” manner.
“Shocking information” appeared on social media on Sunday, after Krasnoyarsk region Governor Alexander Usas only “learned about the real situation” of Putin.
Putin said he agreed that a national emergency was needed to call in more resources for the cleanup effort.
Russia’s investigative committee, which deals with major crimes, announced that it had launched three criminal investigations into the accident and detained an employee of the power plant.
World Wildlife Fund expert Aleksei Nizhanikov said the environmental group was the one that alerted the cleaning experts after confirming the accident through its sources.
“These are in large quantities,” he said. “It was difficult for them to cover it.”
The WWF expert said the volume of the spill is much larger than a large spell of 2007 in the Crutch Strait of Black Sea, which contains 5,000 tons of oil.
The Kerch spill was the largest of its kind at that time. Russia And requires the intervention of the army and hundreds of volunteers.
Nizhanikov said diesel is lighter than fuel oil, so it is likely to evaporate rather than sink, but it is “more toxic to clean”.
Officials were quoted by Putin as saying that the river Ambarnaya, which bears the brunt of the outbreak, would be difficult to clean as it is shallow and there is no way to a remote location.
Environment Minister Dmitry Kobalkin said that he thought that burning the fuel, which some are suggesting, was too risky.
“This is a very difficult situation. I cannot imagine burning so much fuel in the Arctic region … such a large bonfire on such an area would be a major problem.”
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