Petrol spills into Bulgarian lake after pipeline rupture

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 17, 2015 2:18 PM

SOFIA (Reuters) - Up to 40 tonnes of petrol spilled into a lake near the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas after a product pipeline of LUKOIL's Neftochim Burgas refinery ruptured late on Wednesday, the environment minister said.

A spokeswoman for LUKOIL Bulgaria confirmed the leak, adding that it was now under control and rescue teams were working to clean up the damage.

She said the incident was being investigating and that LUKOIL estimated the spillage was about 10 to 30 tonnes of petrol.

Local authorities said fire brigades had rushed to the scene and teams were measuring the air pollution in the area, but there was no danger to the population of a nearby village nor a remote Burgas suburb.

"Initial data shows between 30 to 40 tonnes of petrol have spilled into Lake Vaya, which is a protected area and there is a threat to the wildlife there. Measures are being taken to limit the pollution," Environment Minister Ivelina Vasileva said. "LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas will be fined for the incident."

Lake Vaya, also known as Lake Burgas, is part of the Burgas wetlands and is home to some 260 different species of bird, of which more than 60 are endangered.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; editing by David Clarke)