Source Pravda.Ru

Ecological disaster on Komandorski Islands, Bering Sea

Birds are dying around the Komandorski Islands in the Bering Sea due to hazardous chemicals spilled in the area.

43 cormorants have already fallen victims of tetraglycol contained in a 20-ton tank brought to the cost of the Bering Island, the administration of the Aleutsky district, the Kamchatka region, reported. The feathering of several dozens of birds has got clotted.

The container has already been moved away from the fur-seal breeding ground. At present it is lying on a height with the holes upwards. Experts continue taking water and soil samples in the area.

A helicopter with experts of the Russian Natural Resources Ministry's special sea inspection on board has left for the scene of the disaster.

In spring 2003 the Komandorski Islands received the status of an international biosphere reserve and are considered the world's natural heritage. The coast waters of the islands are inhabited by 21 kinds of whales and cetaceans, and the islands themselves by about 300,000 fur-seals and sea lions, as well as by over 500,000 of rare northern birds.

Meanwhile the Kamchatka region administration is preparing documents to bring an international suit against the Dupont company that owns the 20-ton container with the toxic organic substance. The container was lost during transportation near the Korean Peninsula in March and emerged on July 29th near the northern part of the Bering Island.

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