UPDATE - Large Spain Oil Spill Contained...

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Large Spain oil spill contained

August 3, 2000

Web posted at: 1:20 AM EDT (0520 GMT)

MADRID, Spain -- Crews with pumps and shovels worked Wednesday to clean up an eight-kilometer-long (five mile) oil slick on a river in central Spain after a leak from a power plant.

Some 25,000 liters (6,600 gallons) overflowed from a holding tank Tuesday when a gauge and other monitoring devices malfunctioned, said Rocio Marquez, a spokeswoman for the Environment Ministry.

The spill was contained at a small dam on the Tagus River, a kilometer down river from the plant, she said.

Residents in the area were advised not to drink water from the river or use it for irrigation.

It was not immediately known what environmental damage the spill might cause.

The 31-year-old power plant at Villaseca de la Sagra, about 100 kilometers (63 miles) south of Madrid, is owned by the companies Union Fenosa and Iberdrola.

The Tagus is one of Spain's longest rivers, winding its way southwest from Teruel province, in the northeast, across to Lisbon, Portugal, before entering the Atlantic.

Spain's environmental record was sullied in 1998 by a huge spill of toxic metal waste at a mine near Seville in the South of the country.

The spill, one of the country's worst ecological disasters, contaminated a large area surrounding the Donana nature reserve, killing thousands of fish and wildlife.

The Associated Press & Reuters contributed to this


-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), August 03, 2000

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