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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pipeline Ruptures in Belarussian River

MINSK -- A ruptured Russian pipeline spilled about 100 tons of diesel oil into a Belarussian river that flows into Latvia, Belarussian and Latvian officials said Monday.

The rupture happened Friday on the Unecha-Ventspils pipeline but was only announced by authorities Monday. Latvian authorities said the spill had been detected in the Daugava River near the border town of Kraslava. Vilis Avotins, head of Latvia's State Environmental Protection Bureau, told the LETA news agency that diesel fuel could be seen along a 20-kilometer stretch of the river.

Efforts to prevent the spill from spreading further were being hampered by the rapid current. Belarussian officials said earlier that only about 15 kilometers of the river in Belarus had been affected.

"The main spill has already been liquidated and we hope that in one to two days, we'll be able to clean up all of the affected areas," said Alexander Apatsky, an official from the Belarussian Natural Resources Ministry.