Oil spill in Lithuania reaches Latvian waters

A crude oil spill occurred at the Lithuanian Būtingė oil terminal in the Baltic Sea, by the oil refinery Orlen Lietuva, at around 8 AM on Wednesday February 7 with about 1,400 - 1,800 liters of oil leaking into the sea, the Latvian State Environmental Service said.

At the scene, a Lithuanian Navy search and rescue vessel collected about two cubic meters of water-oil mixture. The collection continues Thursday as well.

On Thursday, some of the pollution has reached Latvian waters. Modeling the future possible direction of pollution, perhaps some could end up on the Latvian coast off Nida on Thursday afternoon.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and the State Environmental Service, which are in contact with Lithuanian environmental and other institutions involved, have been informed about the situation.

The Environmental Service said it was working on possible solutions for a speedy rectification of the situation.

Taking into account the properties of the leaking substance and the low water temperature, there is a chance that some of the pollution will sink and its collection from the water's surface will be difficult.

The responsibility of the Lithuanian merchant and the environmental damage will be assessed after elimination of the consequences of the accident.

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