ExxonMobil pipeline’s rupture threatens wildlife in U.S.
Elena Vnorovscaia / Chişinău / Moldova.ORG / -- The world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, ExxonMobil, pipe leaks oil into Yellowstone River in US.
An ExxonMobil pipeline in the US state of Montana has ruptured, and dumped up to 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River, officials say.
The banks of the Yellowstone River near Laurel are blackened by oil from the pipeline.
The accident happened downstream from the famed Yellowstone national park, a major tourist attraction in the US. There are fears that fish will suffer because of the accident. Local wildlife is in danger.
Exxon promised a full investigation into the spill, which occurred in a 12-inch pipeline, running from Silvertip to Billings. Company spokeswoman Pam Malek said the pipe leaked for about a half-hour.
The company said the pipe had been shut down and the segment where the leak happened had been isolated. Nearby residents were evacuated, but later allowed to return to their homes.
"We recognize the seriousness of this incident and are working hard to address it," the company said in a statement. "Our principal focus is on protecting the safety and health of the public and our employees," it added.
"If fish get oil on them, if they break the surface and get oil on them, it tends to plug up their gills and it often is fatal," said Bob Gobson, of the Billings Fish, Wildlife and Parks Program.
The cause of the break is not known, it is said that speculation involves high water flowing through the river that might have gouged out the river bed and exposed the pipe, which was possibly hit by debris.
The state has received record rainfall in the last month and also has a huge snowpack in the mountains that is melting, which has resulted in widespread flooding in recent weeks.
The fire department plans to hold the event on Monday.
In 1989, an Exxon oil tanker leaving Valdez, Alaska, struck a reef in Prince William Sound and spilled millions of gallons of crude into the sea.
The disaster led to widespread deaths of wildlife and a lengthy legal battle pitting residents whose livelihoods were decimated against the oil company.