“Right now we can assume... that due to abnormally mild summer temperatures recorded in the past years, permafrost could have melted and the pillars under the platform could have sank,” explained Norilsk Nickel chief operating officer Sergei Dyachenko in an interview with the TASS news agency, and as reported in CNN.
The spill is quite possibly the worst to happen in Russia’s Arctic region and could be an environmental calamity felt in the fragile region for years to come.
CNN reported that the company responsible for the tank, Norilsk Nickel, initially tried to contain the spill on its own without alerting state officials to the problem.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency after an estimated 20,000 tons of diesel fuel poured out of a fuel tank and into a nearby river.
Six oil containment booms have been placed in the Ambarnaya River to curb the spread of the diesel fuel, reports TASS, and recovery teams are skimming fuel off the surface with special equipment.