SAMARA, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - The damage from a mid-July oil spill on the Volga River has been estimated at 14 million rubles (over $450,000), a spokesman for the Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said on Tuesday.
The spill occurred on July 13 when the Saratov-registered tugboat, the Shlyuzovoi-130, which was towing a barge, ran aground 67 km downstream from the city of Samara spilling around 9.5 tons of oil into the river.
"The initial cost of the damage has been put at 14 million rubles but the investigation is continuing," the spokesman said.
The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources declined to put a figure on the environmental cost and that of the clean up operation citing an absence of data.
Investigators said the accident occurred when the tugboat captain fell asleep. A criminal case has been launched against the captain of the vessel, who faces up to three years if found guilty.