Extensive Gas Leak, Pollution Threat Mostly Averted Skip to content

Extensive Gas Leak, Pollution Threat Mostly Averted

When a truck transporting fuel overturned in Hestfjörður fjord by Ísafjarðardjúp, the West Fjords, on Monday evening, 24,000 liters of gasoline leaked from a tank into a ditch. On Tuesday the site was cleaned up as much as possible.

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From the West Fjords. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

The truck landed in the ditch which had been blasted into the cliff. Gas leaked through a drain leading from the ditch and into the fjord and a slick could be seen in the water, Morgunblaðið reports.

Anton Helgason, managing director of the Health Protection Authority of the West Fjords, followed the slick out into the fjord and noticed that it kept fading until it disappeared around mid-way towards Ísafjarðardjúp. Gasoline evaporates quickly and is thinned out in water.

There have been no reports of dead birds or fish—the activity of the biosphere is also at a low at this time of year.

The oil that was seen in the ditch was removed along with water and detergents. Anton said approximately 30,000 liters were accumulated and it is to be expected that some of the gas evaporated.

The employees of Skeljungur (Shell Iceland) will separate the water from the gas, which will take some time, after which it can be estimated how much gas remains at the site.

Anton believes that serious pollution has been averted, adding that the area will continue to be monitored. “The circumstances were favorable where the truck ran off the road and nothing is at risk there.”

Click here to read more about the accident.

ESA

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