A massive oil spill caused by a burst pipeline has devastated an area east of Ahwaz city, polluting the already depleted canals and rivers in the area.
The head of the Khuzestan region’s Environmental Authority, Ali Bani Oghbah, told the Iranian state news agency IRNA that the oil spill, in the area around the village of Kret Camp in the Gheizaniyeh rural district around 40 kilometers east of Ahwaz city, was the result of damage to an oil pipeline, which is now under repair. Bani Oghbah said that such environmentally toxic spills and leaks are a regular occurrence due to the ageing and neglected pipeline network, adding that the spills are extremely hazardous to the areas affected, causing immense harm to the local ecosystem.
The pipeline near the village of Kret Camp began spilling oil into the surrounding area on Saturday December 10, continuing till emergency repairs were carried out late on Monday 12. The oil spill destroyed more than 15 hectares of wheat fields belonging to Ahwazi farmers in the area and contaminating a large expanse of land, as well as spreading to canals and rivers in the area used for drinking water and household use as well as for the irrigation of crops.
Local environmental activists said that the massive pollution from the oil spill has made farming in the affected area impossible, having destroyed all the living organisms in the soil, specifying that the responsibility and blame for this environmental disaster lies with the Maron company’s oil refinery.
Bani Oghbah also sharply condemned the oil company’s failure to carry out immediate repairs to the burst pipeline, saying that this had led to three days of continuous heavy oil spill, leading to “significant damage” to the local environment.