Satellites spot major oil spill in the Arctic Circle (photos)

An image taken from space of an oil spill in the Arctic Circle. Oil is depicted in this animation (shown in red) traveling in the Ambarnaya River on May 31 and June 1.

An image taken from space of an oil spill in the Arctic Circle. Oil is depicted in this animation (shown in red) traveling in the Ambarnaya River on May 31 and June 1.  (Image credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2020), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

Two European satellites have spotted a catastrophic oil spill in the Arctic Circle.

About 20,000 tons of diesel oil has leaked into a river in the Arctic Circle after a fuel tank at a power plant near the Siberian city of Norilsk collapsed last Friday (May 29). The Russian Investigative Committee has launched an investigation into the incident, as the plant reportedly waited for two days before informing Moscow authorities about the spill, according to the BBC.

As you can see in the animation above, the oil (depicted in red) traveled down the Ambarnaya River on May 31 and June 1. The river flows into Lake Pyasino, which feeds into the Pysaina River. Watching from space, the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission has observed the spill, for which Russia has declared a state of emergency

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