Dhe Kiel Canal remains closed to shipping after oil spilled. A spokesman for the emergency command announced on Thursday morning that three oil spill response ships had been in action throughout the night. Hundreds of helpers, including many volunteers, are said to be on duty again in daylight. There should be a forecast later on Thursday as to when the canal can be reopened to shipping.
Large amounts of oil had spilled into the Kiel Canal from a leak in a pipeline in the port of Brunsbüttel. The traffic center closed the locks on Wednesday because the oil reached the lock chambers. The fire brigade and technical relief organization began fighting the first. The leak was closed in the afternoon. Schleswig-Holstein’s Environment Minister Tobias Goldschmidt (Greens) will find out more about the oil contamination on Thursday.
At the request of the Schleswig-Holstein State Office for Coastal Protection, National Park and Marine Protection (LKN), the CCME took over the command of operations and ordered the multi-purpose ship Neuwerk and the oil spill response ship Knechtsand to Brunsbüttel at the mouth of the Elbe. There was initially no information on the amount of oil that had leaked. According to the emergency command, the oil slick stretched from the Brunsbüttel lock to a length of about six kilometers on the canal.
During the course of Wednesday, emergency services found the cause of the pollution: a leak in a so-called culvert on the land side of a crude oil pipeline on the northern bank, as a spokesman for the emergency command said. The line was blocked so that no more oil could escape. Smaller amounts of oil were already noticed on the water on Friday.
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