Oil leak triggers crisis in Russia

Published: Thursday 31 August 2006

An oil spill has occurred in one of Russia's largest export pipelines, polluting about 10 sq km of forests and contaminating local water sources. The country's ministry of natural resources has termed the accident a potential ecological disaster, say media reports. The leak was the result of a crack in a joint on the Druzhba pipeline that delivers oil from Russia to its European neighbours. The 4,000-km pipeline is 42 years old and runs through the western province of Byransk, near the country's border with Ukraine and Belarus. Local people have long been complaining of faults on the pipeline. The ministry is now scrambling to cleanse the soil.

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