Siberia fuel spill: 20,000 tonnes of diesel leaks into river

4 June 2020, 09:44

20,000 tonnes of oil spilled into a river in Siberia
20,000 tonnes of oil spilled into a river in Siberia. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency in Siberia after 20,000 tonnes of diesel leaked into a river.

The fuel leaked from a power plant in the city of Norilsk into a nearby river.

Putin ordered officials to try to minimise the consequences of the spill, but environment agencies have said that the damage already done has been "catastrophic."

Head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations Evgeny Zinichev said workers at the power station tried to contain the spill themselves and did not report it to emergency services for two days.

Russia's main law enforcement body said a criminal probe had been launched into the spillage which is believed to have happened due to "unexplained decompression" of a storage tank.