Russia: Investigation into possible pipeline break ordered as Daldykan River turns bright red – by William Watkinson (International Business Times – September 7, 2016)

Authorities in the Arctic city of Norilsk have begun an investigation into a possible pipeline break after a river running through the city turned red. Residents of the nickel-producing city, located in the north east of the country, noticed that the Daldykan River had changed colour on Tuesday (6 September).

Speculation by social media users centred on a possible break in pipes serving the nickel-producing town, leading to industrial waste leaking into the river. Other theories mentioned iron ore seeping into the water through the ground.

In a statement, the natural resources and environment ministry in Russia said that they were probing complaints of unknown chemical pollution, possibly caused by a “break in a Norilsk Nickel slurry pipe”.

According to the Guardian, the Daldykan runs near to the Nadezhda metallurgical factory, run by the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, Norilsk Nickel. The company have reportedly denied a chemical leak saying the “colour of the river today doesn’t differ from its usual condition”, the state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The company added, according to the newspaper, said it was temporarily reducing manufacturing at the Hope Metals Plant while it monitored the situation. The river is not believed to supply drinking water.

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