Pollution spill spotted following Bosnian refinery explosion

Pollution spill spotted following Bosnian refinery explosion Izvor: Ivica Galovic/PIXSELL (ilustracija)

Pollution spill has been spotted on the Sava river near the eastern city of Slavonski Brod on Wednesday morning, following last night's explosion at the oil refinery in the Bosnian town of Brod across the river, N1 television reported.

The spill, estimated to be 10 meters wide, was detected on the Sava river, Brod-Posavina County Prefect, Danijel Marusic, told N1.

"Emergency services are in the field, and the AEKS company has been hired which specialises in clean up of this sort of pollution, and together with firefighters they will try to contain any pollution and determine its cause, because at this moment we don't know whether this is related to last night's explosion," Marusic said.

Marusic added that no air pollution in Slavonski Brod has been detected yet and that there was no danger for public health. He added that he talked with the Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, and Health Minister Milan Kujundzic about the incident.

On Tuesday evening around 9:30 pm a large explosion occurred at the Brod oil refinery. One worker was killed and nine injured, with the explosion, strongly felt at Slavonski Brod, across the river Sava which also forms the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ensuing fire was contained by 11 pm, and the injured were taken to the hospital at the Bosnian town of Doboj.

The refinery, owned by the Russian Zarubezhneft oil company, is a frequent cause of concern on the Croatian side of the border, as Slavonski Brod is chronically affected by cross-border air pollution from the refinery.

The Mayor of Slavonski Brod, Mirko Duspara, immediately called an emergency meeting of local authorities late on Tuesday evening.

"There is no danger for citizens of Slavonski Brod at the moment, we are closely watching air pollution levels, and everything is within the normal range, i.e. at the lowest possible levels. We plan to continue tracking gas emissions throughout the night... Everything is under control. We offered help to Bosanski Brod, the bridge across the Sava was ready to be opened in case of evacuation of injured workers, and our hospital put on standby reserve teams of doctors to treat the injured if need be," Duspara said.

By Wednesday noon, there was still no information from either the Bosnian authorities or Zarubezhneft on what caused the explosion.

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