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IRKUTSK, April 26 (Itar-Tass) — The Prosecutor’s Office of the Irkutsk Region has organised a probe in connection with the Angara River’s pollution with petroleum products. Senior aide to the prosecutor of the region Alexander Semyonov told Itar-Tass on Thursday that in the evening April 25, the central dispatcher office of the Usolye district received information about the spreading in the area of Svirsk of a 3-kilometre long and 60-metre wide oil slick that was moving downstream. The source of contamination was detected in the area of the Pribaikalye plant: oil products were flowing into the river from storm water sewer of the Usolyekhimprom plant. An illegal tie-in was found at the intersection of the pipeline and the sewer.
The investigation department of the Usolye district police department of the RF Interior Ministry has opened a criminal case under the RF Criminal Code article “attempted large-scale theft.”
The leak of petroleum products into the Angara River has now been stopped, the efforts to eliminate the consequences of the spill have been started. A state emergency has been introduced in Svirsk, and in the Cheremkhovo town - a high alert regime. The cold water supply to social facilities, healthcare institutions and dwelling housed has been shut off in order to prevent an emergency situation.
The Western Baikal Inter-district Environmental Prosecutor’s Office jointly with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Irkutsk Region, the office of the Russian Federal Consumer Rights Protection and Human Health Control Service (Rosprirodnadzor) in the Irkutsk Region, the Angara-Baikal territorial administration of the Federal Fisheries Agency (Rosrybolovstvo) has organised work to establish the degree of contamination of the Angara River. Samples of water and soil from the river banks are being taken along the oil slick flow for the following analysis and the damage assessment.