Oil spill in Israel
One of worst pollution disasters in Israel’s history, official says
Millions of liters of crude oil gushed out of a breached pipeline in southern Israel early Thursday, causing what one Environmental Protection Ministry official called “one of the gravest pollution events in the country’s history.”
The breach occurred during maintenance work that was part of preparations for the international airport under construction in Timna, in southern Israel. Once the leak was discovered, pipeline company officials shut the pipeline’s valves – but not in time to prevent the spillage of millions of liters of oil.
There was no damage on the Jordanian side of the frontier. Though Jordanian news agencies reported that large amounts of hydrogen sulfide were detected in the air around Aqaba – and some reports said that people were hospitalized with breathing difficulties after inhaling fumes including 30 workers at Aqaba’s King Hussein International Airport.
Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) said: ‘The leak has been stopped’, adding that a full investigation was under way to determine the cause of the spill.