A burst pipeline has leaked as much as 50,400 gallons of crude oil into Yellowstone River in the United States.
The spill was first noted on Saturday (17 January) when oil firm Bridger Pipeline alerted state authorities in Montana about a drop in pressure in a 12-inch pipe which crosses Yellowstone.
Yellowstone feeds into the Missouri River and it winds nearly 700 miles across three western states, passing through Yellowstone National Park which is home to the Grand Canyon.
The pipe was switched off but Bridger believes between 300 and 1,200 barrels of oil (12,600-50,400 gallons) was released.
Oil seems to have flowed down river for 25 miles, with a Bridger patrol plane spotting an oil sheen on the Yellowstone River 25 miles downstream of nearby town Glendive, said Montana’s environment department.
Residents of Glendive which is less than 10 miles downstream from the spill site have been advised not to drink tap water. Instead they have been told to use bottled water for drinking and cooking until tests on water samples from the river are done.
Tad True, vice president of Bridger Pipeline said in a statement: “Our primary concern is to minimise the environmental impact of the release and keep our responders safe as we clean up from this unfortunate incident.”