OIl spill catches fire on Moskva River

On August 12 an oil spill caught fire on the Moskva River in the south of Moscow. The smoke from the fire rose over 200 meters.

On August 12 an oil spill caught fire on the Moskva River in the south of Moscow. The smoke from the fire rose over 200 meters.

Fire in the south of Moscow. Source: YouTube

According to preliminary information, Mostransnefteproduct has been named the culprit behind the oil slick which spilled into the Moskva River on Aug.12 evening before catching fire, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Public Works Pyotr Biryukov told reporters on Aug. 13.

"Today under the orders of the Mayor [Sergei Sobyanin] a meeting was held with the commission for emergency situations, headed by me", Biryukov said.

He said that at the meeting representatives of Mostransnefteproduct, Rostekhnadzor, and Rosprirodnadzor took part, as well as the Emergency Situations Ministry.

"During the process of reviewing what information we have now it turned out that Mostransnefteproduct was at fault for the spill," the deputy mayor said.

He estimated the fire damage to the environment around the Moskva River at around 30 million rubles ($464,000).

Commenting on the statement by an official representative of Transneft that the source of the oil leak in the Moskva River could be a Mosvodostok rainwater collector; Biryukov said that "Such statements are groundless."

"The area where the fire occurred is some 200 meters upstream from where the collector is that belongs to the Moscow Oil Refinery," he said.

Directly after the accident and the fire, specialists from the Department of Fuel and Energy Sector and from the main Emergency Situations Ministry department in Moscow visited the pumping station and drew attention to the fact that in two of the pipes which were pumping gasoline out of six, pressure was found to be below the normal allowable level.

Instead of the normal 4.9 to 6 atmospheres of pressure, in two pipes the pressure was as low as one atmosphere, he said.

It became clear right away what the reason was. Apparently, somewhere the pipeline experienced depressurization, he said.

Additionally, Biryukov said that on the eve of the spill and the fire, Mostransnefteproduct had asked the Moscow refinery to stop pumping operations.

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