Residents 'heartless' to abandon animals when oil leaked into floodwater.
The young animals were victims of a recent serious spill in Nefteyugansk. Picture: Anatoly Tuptey
Two tiny kittens plucked to safety after almost drowning in oil graphically highlight concerns over pollution from a ruptured pipelines in a Siberian region. The young animals were victims of a recent serious spill in Nefteyugansk, which the authorities and oil workers have been seeking to clear up since last month.
A local resident Anatoly Tuptey - who was working on fighting the spread of oil in floodwater from from Ob River - said he heard to plaintive cries of the kittens near a dacha (country house) hit by the pollution.
'My soul could not stand the cries, I went to see,' he said. 'You never know what is going on, I had to check.
'I went after them. I was up to my waist in the oil. The ground was giving way, my wading boots were full of water mixed with oil, but I didn't care.' Pictures: Anatoly Tuptey
'I waded as far as possible in big boots and discovered a terrible sight. In the flooded house a wooden board was floating, with these two kittens clinging on for their lives with their paws. One was up to its neck in the oil.
'Without hesitation I went after them. I was up to my waist in the oil. The ground was giving way, my wading boots were full of water mixed with oil, but I didn't care.
'I was rushing to save the kittens. I picked them up, hugged them, and carried them to the shore, where I wrapped them in a T-shirt to warm them up.'
Oil was clogged on their fur, but they are gradually recovering after the shocking experience. A later picture from rescuer Anatoly - now nicknamed 'Baywatch' by his friends, shows one of the kittens playing with his dog.
A later picture from rescuer Anatoly shows one of the kittens playing with his dog. Picture: Anatoly Tuptey
'A few days earlier I rescued people and equipment when a boat overturned, this day it was kittens.'
Anatoly posted pictures as he held the kittens which were close to death. He said people were 'heartless' for abandoning their pets in the flood. In the same area, oil has been spewing from domestic water taps.
The eco-tragedy followed a pipe rupture. Dramatic pictures showed the scale of the damage in an area close to the city of 123,000 people in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region.
The Ob was anyway flooded when the spill occurred on 23 June and the key damage is to an area already underwater.
Dramatic pictures showed the scale of the damage in an area close to the city of 123,000 people in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region. Pictures:Andrey Seleznyov, Znak.com
The pipeline is run by RN-Yuganskneftegas Ltd, part of the Rosneft energy giant, which said on Monday it 'engaged all the necessary measures to eliminate the spill of oil-containing liquid'.
The company said its actions had 'prevented' oil reaching the main river, the seventh longest in the world. Critics say that oil companies in Russia should be given harsher penalties as an incentive to prevent spills.
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