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International

Vladimir Putin declares state of emergency in Norilsk after fuel spill

21:20, Wednesday, 03 June, 2020
Vladimir Putin declares state of emergency in Norilsk after fuel spill

A state of emergency had previously been declared locally.

According to Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations, one of the power plant's fuel tanks depressurized on May 29, resulting in the spillage of 21 thousand tons of fuel into the Ambarnaya river and onto the industrial site of the Nadezhdinsky Metallurgical Plant, which owns the power station. A car passing outside the fuel storage area at the time of the spill caught fire from coming into contact with the diesel, sparking a blaze covering close to 300 sq. m.

The Russian Prosecutor General's office has opened several criminal investigations into the incident.

Norilsk Nickel, a Russian mining corporation which runs the facility, said the tank was damaged when supporting pillars that had "held it in place for 30 years" began to sink due to thawing permafrost.

Evgeny Senichev, Russia's Emergency Situations Minister, said that his agency was only notified about the emergency on May 31. The company had attempted to deal with the spill on its own prior to contacting federal authorities.

Governor Aleksandr Uss of the Krasnoyarsk region reported that he had learned about the scale of the incident from social networks. "[Your] report is over? What do you mean? What should be done? You're the Governor," Putin lashed out following the conclusion of Uss's status update during an emergency government meeting on Wednesday. Law enforcement officials detained one of the plant's foremans shortly after the meeting ended.

Norilsk Nickel's stock price fell by 1.29% to 21,924 roubles a share following the announcement of the state of emergency. The share price recovered one hour later, and is currently trading at around 22,240 roubles.

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