Oil spill in Artic causes devastation

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A huge oil spill has occured in the Artic, endangering the lives of local wildlife.

An emergency has been declared after 20,000 tonnes of diesel leaked into a river near the city of Norilsk, Russia.

The leak was caused by when a tank at a power plant broke, perhaps due to ground movement.

The plant is owned by Norilsk Nickel, which is the world’s leading nickel and palladium producer.

Experts say the scale of the spill and geography of the river mean it will be difficult to clean up.

Delays in reporting the collapse prompted criticism from President Vladimir Putin. However, the plant’s director, Vyacheslav Starostin, has been taken into police custody.

The Russian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case over pollution and alleged negligence.

How bad was the spill?

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

The spill contaminated a 350 sq km area.

In a statement, Norilsk Nickel said the incident had been reported in a “timely and proper” way.

The accident is believed to be the second-largest in modern Russian history in terms of volume.

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