Russia: Clean-up continues in Norilsk as mayor charged over diesel leak response

Clean-up operations of a massive diesel spill in Norilsk continued on Thursday, as Russia's Investigative Committee announced that it had opened a criminal case against Norilsk Mayor Rinat Akhmetchin and charged him with negligence over his response to the leak. The committee said in a statement that Akhmetchin had failed in his duties to contain the leak and that he had not taken proper measures to respond to the environmental disaster. The massive leak occurred on May 29 when around 15,000 tonnes of diesel spilled into a local river and 6,000 tonnes into the soil from a reserve fuel tank of the Norilsk Thermal Power Plant No. 3. The Investigative Committee announced on Wednesday that three managers of the thermal power plant had been arrested over the spill. According to Norilsk Nickel, the Russian company that owns the power plant, the leak was caused when pillars supporting the storage tank sank due to thawing permafrost soil. The company has promised to cover the cost of the clean-up operation.
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