Oil Depot Near Kiev Ablaze Again Raising Environmental Concerns

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The oil depot at Kalynivka near Kiev caught fire again on Saturday.

According to reports, firefighters has contained the previous massive five day blaze that claimed the lives of five people.

The fire has raised environmental concerns as a large amount of toxic substances have been released into the air.

UNN news agency on Saturday that the wind was blowing the smoke from the depot fire towards Kiev

“The smoke contains plenty of hazardous substances including benzopyrene, which is very a harmful carcinogenic, the first class of danger,” head of Kiev’s Ecological-Cultural Center (KECC) Vladimir Boreyko told UNN warning the capital’s residents to stay home.

Experts believe the disaster could have consequences not only for Kiev which has a population of around three million people, but also for neighboring European countries.

The authorities have launched a criminal investigation against the depot’s operator BRSM-NAfta under the “ecocide” article.

RT reports:

A storage tank caught fire at the BRSM-Nafta facility in Vasilkov, 25 kilometers south of Kiev, at about 11:30am local time, the town’s mayor Sergey Sabov wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday.

The fire at the oil deport flared up again, after one of the tanks was depressurized resulting in a fuel leak, he added.

A video posted on Youtube on Saturday shows a billowing cloud of black smoke rising from the depot.

Sabov said there is risk of fire spreading to the adjacent storage tank. “There are four more full storage tanks with a 900-cubic-meter capacity,” he told reporters, adding that the risk of them catching fire is lower.

The State Emergency Service is monitoring the blaze said its head Nikolay Chechetkin. There are worries that there could be an explosion.

The firefighters “are not cooling the tanks due to very high temperature there and the risk of a repeated explosion,” he said. “As soon as it’s possible we will begin extinguishing the flames with foam.”

Firefighters have been battling the massive blaze at the oil depot since it started on Monday night. By Tuesday it had spread consuming more storage tanks and causing massive explosions, which killed five people and injured 18.

According to the state service, the fire was contained on Friday.

Niamh Harris
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