France, pipeline breaks spilling 550,000 litres of fuel oil

La rottura accidentale di un oleodotto sotterraneo tra Loira Atlantica e Bretagna ha comportato un’importante fuga di petrolio. Evacuate alcune case.

subterranean pipeline connecting a refinery owned by Total in the city of Donges, Loire-Atlantique, France, to storage in Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, has been damaged, causing a spill of about 550,000 litres of fuel oil. According to newspaper 20 Minutes, data was confirmed by the local prefecture, which specified that the accident occurred in the municipality of Sainte-Anne-sur-Brivet.


Terracing works caused the pipeline to be damaged: a bulldozer accidentally hit the pipeline system on 5 April at 10:00 a.m. The oil pipeline has been halted, but this wasn’t enough to prevent fuel oil from leaking. After initial assessments, French authorities reassured that “environmental damages are limited”: two ponds and a ditch have been flooded with oil.

The pipeline is 93-kilometre long

During the night of the 5th of April, firemen and teams of Total (which said only 380,000 litres had leaked) carried out pumping operations aimed to secure the area and contain pollution. Moreover, a ban on using well water has been issued, while drinking water has not been contaminated. The involved area is not highly populated, but the few inhabiting in the surrounding area were forced to abandon their homes: 10 households have been evacuated.


According to local media, the pipeline was built in 1964 and is 93-kilometre long. The entire system is located underground and has a capacity of 7,200 cubic metres, transporting petrol, diesel, and domestic fuel at a pressure of 40 bars.


Cover photo: Ouest-France.

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