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Chile’s navy confirms diesel oil spill in pristine Patagonia

July 28, 2019
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In this photo distributed by the Chile Navy, sailors work to contain damage from an oil spill, on Guarello Island in Chile, Sunday, July 28, 2019. Chile's navy on Sunday confirmed the spillage of 40,000 liters of diesel oil into the sea in a remote and pristine area of the South American country's Patagonia and said it is working to mitigate the effects. (Chile Navy via AP)
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In this photo distributed by the Chile Navy, sailors work to contain damage from an oil spill, on Guarello Island in Chile, Sunday, July 28, 2019. Chile's navy on Sunday confirmed the spillage of 40,000 liters of diesel oil into the sea in a remote and pristine area of the South American country's Patagonia and said it is working to mitigate the effects. (Chile Navy via AP)

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile’s navy on Sunday confirmed the spillage of 40,000 liters of diesel oil into the sea in a remote and pristine area of the South American country’s Patagonia and said it is working to mitigate the effects.

A navy statement said it received a call from the mining company CAP on Saturday reporting the spill at the terminal of Guarello island, about 1,740 miles (2,800 kilometers) south from Santiago, Chile’s capital. The area is one of the planet’s most untouched with important biodiversity.

The navy said it had deployed ships to the area to control damage from the spill and an investigation had been launched.

“The marine pollution control center was activated,” Ronald Baasch, commander of the navy’s Third Naval Zone, told local media.

CAP released a statement saying the incident had already been contained. The spill affected a bay and the company said it installed a container sleeve in the area on Saturday and began removing oil from the environment immediately.

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