Six hundred litres of diesel fuel spilt onto a parking lot next to one of Reykjavík’s drinking water sources in the Bláfjöll ski area yesterday afternoon when a roped oil tank severed from a helicopter.
According to RÚV, The helicopter was transporting the fuel to Þríhnúkagígur crater to prepare the area for summer tourism . The fuel is used to power generators which in turn provide electrical lighting for the cavernous crater. As there is no road to the crater, it was planned to transport 1600 litres of fuel in tanks roped to helicopters.
It is still uncertain how the tank broke loose. While nobody was injured in the accident, concerns immediately arose regarding environmental consequences as an important source for Reykjavík’s drinking water lies beneath the area’s surrounding lava fields.
Fortunately, most of the oil spilt onto the parking lot, which prevented it from seeping into the ground water reservoir. Still, clean up measures included removing 25-30 cubic metres of contaminated surface soil from the surrounding area, Vísir reports.