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Russian authorities say Volga oil spill larger than thought

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An accident on Russia's Volga River is estimated to have dumped over 9 tons of oil into its waters instead of the earlier reported two tons, a regional spokeswoman told RIA Novosti on Monday.

SAMARA, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - An accident on Russia's Volga River is estimated to have dumped over 9 tons of oil into its waters instead of the earlier reported two tons, a regional spokeswoman told RIA Novosti on Monday.

The Saratov-registered tugboat, the Shlyuzovoi-130, ran aground while carrying a barge on the Volga near the town of Oktyabrsk in the Samara Region on July 13, after which emergencies officers began cleaning up a spill they estimated at two tons.

Those estimates have since been increased to 9.5 tons.

"According to the official summary by an independent international expert organization, 9.5 tons of oil products leaked [into the Volga] due to the accident," the spokeswoman said.

She said the exact figures became clear after analyzing oil emulsifiers from the river bank and the river. She also said the cleanup would be completed by Monday evening.

The remaining oil in the barge has since been pumped into a reserve barge and sent to the city of Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow. The damaged barge has been anchored in a nearby port for repair.

A report on the ecological damage in the area and the economic costs of cleaning up the spill is being compiled.

 

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