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31/7/2014 23:36
RIA Novosti

Russia

BACKGROUND - Fuel oil spreads after a train derails in the Tver Region. Consequences still vague

22:47 16/06/2005
MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) - 26 fuel oil cisterns of a freight train derailed last night near Rzhev in the Tver Region, 200 kilometers northwest of Moscow.

Controversial information has been coming in about accident consequences. The Emergencies Ministry evaluates the fuel oil loss at 60 tons, and says it has spread over an approximate area of 750 square meters. Railroad workers are referring to 300 tons splashed.

The accident site is 150 meters off the Vazuza River, a tributary of the Volga, European Russia's principal river, which flows into the Caspian Sea. Water pollution is the worst of what the accident has in store.

Fuel oil has polluted the Volga as result of the accident, Oleg Petrov, Volga interregional deputy prosecutor for environment protection, told the media. "An iridescent film covers about half the water at the Vazuza-Volga confluence," he said.

Dmitri Zelenin, Tver regional governor, confirmed water pollution in the region. "A part of fuel oil flowed into the water during the accident, but rescuers and maintenance workers have reduced the damage to the least possible," he said to newsmen on the accident site.

Area cleaning will start quite soon, the governor added.

Meanwhile, the federal Emergencies Ministry is denying oil patches on the Volga surface.

As the ministerial press service told RIA Novosti, a government inspection for small ships under the ministry dispatched its boats after the accident to reconnoiter a part of the Volga basin in the vicinity of its confluence with the Vazuza. The monitoring also involved a downstream area to a forty kilometer distance. "Emergencies Ministry experts did not spot whatever fuel oil patches on the Volga water surface," a press service spokesman said.

Track repairs on the accident site are underway, alongside environment protection efforts. According to Emergencies Ministry reports, the freight train derailment damaged 400 meters of track, 200 meters of which demand total replacement.

Railroad personnel and Emergencies Ministry experts promised repair works to finish even tomorrow.

The train derailed because of mismatched rails, Khasian Zyabirov, Russian Rail Co. First Deputy President, said in a RIA Novosti interview.

As he presented the accident, it all started as the driver became aware of the engine getting a strong sideways kick. At first, he merely dropped speed to 20 kilometers/hour, and applied the emergency brake only later, the braking length making 350 meters.

A passenger train passed the same stretch forty minutes before the freight, Zyabirov added. The passenger train engine driver said the movement was quite smooth, with no kicks and jolts at all.

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