San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Diesel Spills from Pipeline in Alajuela

A hole in a pipe led to a spill of 5,600 liters of diesel in Villa Bonita, Alajuela, Tuesday morning, according to a statement from the National Oil Refinery (RECOPE).

The spill occurred as the diesel was being pumped into local factories, and was detected by workers who noticed a sudden decrease in pressure inside the pipes.

The pipes were shut down immediately, according to RECOPE.

Javier Castro, chief of operations for the National Firefighters Corps, told the daily La Nación that the spill covered an area of about 400 square meters, including parts of a nearby road.

To avoid contamination of the nearby CiruelasRiver, firefighters dug dikes and used absorbent towels to clean up the spill.

The spill is one in a long line of hydrocarbon and chemical disasters in the country recently, including a serious gas station leak in Barreal de Heredia in 2004, and chemical plant fires at a factory in the Caribbean port of Moín last December, and one in Alajuela earlier this year (TT, May 25).

Last month, officials announced the formation of a coalition to piece together a national plan to combat spills of all kinds, including hydrocarbons such as gasoline and diesel (TT, June 8). To date, the plan has not been released.


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