In an incident that could potentially have big ecological ramifications, a damaged fuel storage tank started leaking around 20,000 litres of diesel into the Ambarnaya river near Norilsk in Russia's Arctic region. Local media reports have highlighted how a potential blaze could further deteriorate the situation which already has catastrophic impact on the life in the river and in surrounding areas.
Photos and video of a red Ambarnaya river quickly became viral across the globe after it was reported that the fuel storage tank was left damaged by loose soil caused by polar warming. The Siberian Times reported that the tank belonged to Norilsk Nickel company and the leak may have started from May 29 before going on to paint the surrounding water in a dull hue of red. ‘Due to sudden subsidence of supports which served for more than 30 years without problems, the diesel fuel storage tank was damaged, resulting in a fuel leak’ the same report quoted Norilsk Nickel company as informing in a press statement.
It is also reported that a car driving in close proximity to the damaged storage facility caught fire. It is suspected that the vehicle could have crashed into it.
Efforts to bring the situation under control are underway. Marine specialists have reached the area while locals are being asked to remain vigilant. One of the residents dipped a newspaper in the affected river water and managed to set it ablaze.
The fuel-mixed river water is now reportedly making its way to Lake Pyasino which drains into Pyasina River which in turn flows out to Kara Sea. Kara Sea is part of the Arctic Ocean.