Oil Spill In Northern Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Oil Spill In Northern Iceland

Published July 26, 2019

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photos by
Timothée Lambrecq

A tanker truck capsized two days ago on North Iceland’s Öxnadalsheiði mountain pass, dropping 13,000 litres of fuel into the surrounding environment. Another 17,000 litres remained in the truck. Road workers immediately responded, digging a trench and damming up the oil flow so it could be safely pumped up without causing too much damage to the fragile environment. The driver of the truck is in the hospital but is expected to make a full recovery. The cause of the accident has not yet been determined.

The truck was owned by Olíudreifing, the CEO of which, Hörður Gunnarsson, gave this statement about the accident to RÚV: “It is right to thank [the responders] for their response that was firstly very fast, and secondly but not least, exactly right and helped us a great deal to restrict the damage that could have resulted from this otherwise horrible accident. This [clean-up] will take several days or even weeks. We will monitor the area as long as need be and pump it up for as long as there is any fuel left to pump.”

There is still a considerable amount of fuel in the creek which needs to be filtered out, but there luckily is no chance of the oil contaminating drinking water. The damage to the environment is yet to be determined.

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