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Russian Energy Company Says Siberia Fuel Leak Poses No Harm To Locals

The spill was into the Ob River in western Siberia. (file photo)

A pipeline rupture that caused fuel to spill into and catch fire on the Ob River in western Siberia poses "no risk to the population and environment," according to a spokesperson for SiburTyumenGas.

The spokesperson told Interfax on March 6 that the rupture of the underwater pipeline in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug sent "light hydrocarbons" -- highly flammable fuels that include propane and butane -- into the river.

The fuel then ignited on the surface and was burning over an area of about 1,000 square meters.

The pipeline between two processing plants was reportedly shut down and being emptied.

The nearest population is about 45 kilometers from the scene of the fire, and Russia's environmental watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, is reportedly monitoring the situation.

In February, a court in Siberia ordered the Russian metallurgical giant Norilsk Nickel to pay more than 146 billion rubles ($1.9 billion) for a spill that dumped thousands of tons of diesel fuel into the Russian Arctic last year.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax