Vladimir Putin has announced a state of emergency within the region round the Arctic city of Norilsk after a huge fuel leak left two rivers with a bloody red tinge.
At least 21,000 tonnes of diesel is known to have leaked from a local power station on Friday. Initial reports suggested a car had crashed into one among the plant’s storage towers, but it transpired the tower first decompressed then ruptured, leading to a fireplace and further spillage. Remarkably, news of the accident took several days to succeed in the authorities.
Over two increasingly desperate days, officials within the power plant tried to deal with the problem themselves. By the time things were eventually referred above the chain, and Mr Putin was informed, over 100,000sq metres of land had been affected.
Russia’s longtime leader made his displeasure known on Wednesday afternoon during a video audience with Aleksandr Uss, the local governor. during a short dispatch, Mr Uss insisted he too had only acknowledged about the disaster from social media, but promised to resolve things within fortnight . ”Report over,” the official concluded.
China’s air pollution overshoots pre-coronavirus concentrations as life resumes after lockdown. READ MORE
“What does one mean, report over?” said Mr Putin, isolating his governor as he attempted to reply . “What are you getting to do about it? You’re the governor aren’t you?”
Later on Wednesday, the overall prosecutor’s office announced it might be opening a criminal case on two counts: damage to land and water and violating environmental protection rules. The manager of the facility plant has also been arrested.
Ivan Blokov, campaign director at Greenpeace Russia, described things in Norilsk as “very, very bad”, and compared it to a number of the world’s worst fuel leaks.
“We are talking about half the damage caused by the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989,” he said.
click next to watch the video