Russia is fighting to stop the 'worst' oil spill in the Arctic

                                 

Russian officials, who are battling a massive oil spill in the Arctic Circle, warned that the cleanup operation could take many years.

President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency over more than 21,000 tons of diesel leakage in northern Siberia, Deutsche Vale said.

According to officials, the spill originated from a storage tank at a thermal power station, which "exploded last week after settling in Permafrost. It has been sturdy for years, but gave way to a hot spring." The New York Times reported.

Environmental group SPIEL - compared to a plant operated by a subsidiary of Norilsk nickel in the city of Norilsk - for the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker disaster in Alaska.

The Guardian says diesel has spread to a freshwater lake near the Arctic Ocean.

Euronews reports that efforts to prevent the spread of fuel from getting into the sea are hit by strong winds.

Russia's first Deputy Emergency Minister, Alexei Choprian, said: "Today we will clean up in one place, tomorrow in another. We need to move forward, which means moving people and equipment."

Meanwhile, investigators have detained a power station director and two engineers suspected of violating environmental protection regulations.

Norilsk nickel price owned by Russia's wealthiest man Vladimir Poton is b 25 billion (£ 19.75 billion).

Potanin says their company is paying for the cleanup, which is estimated to cost P146m (£ 115m).

But environmentalists are warning that the outbreak could have devastating consequences for native wildlife.

"We're talking about dead fish, birds, and polluted plants of poisonous animals," said Sergei Varkhovets, coordinator of Arctic projects for WWF Russia.

War on Russia to prevent 'worst' oil spill in the Arctic

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