Norilsk Nickel has admitted that spillage from a dam caused the Daldykan River near the city of Norilsk to turn blood red.
13 September 2016
When images of the ominously tinted river near the Arctic city appeared on social media last week, Norilsk Nickel initially denied responsibility, claiming “the color of the river today is not different from its normal state.”
The company said yesterday that a filtration dam at one of its plants overflowed after heavy rain, AFP reports.
In a statement carried by Dozhd, Norilsk Nickel said work on reconstructing storage and piping facilities at the site was nearing completion when rain amounting to more than half of the average monthly level fell on 5 September, causing the dam to overflow.
The red coloration was caused by iron salts, which are not dangerous for humans and animals, the statement said.
According to Greenpeace Russia activist Alexei Kiselyov, cited by AFP, however, it is still too early to assess the damage.
“You can’t just say that it’s no big deal. Right now there is a Ministry of Environment commission there,” Kiselyov said.
He added that investigating pollution from the company’s plants was complicated by the fact that Norilsk Nickel controlled access to the entire Taymyr peninsula, north of the city of Norilsk