Near Miss for Alaskan Wildlife

“Emergency services have prevented oil from polluting water and wildlife after a gunman’s bullet pierced a pipeline running to the Valdez marine terminal.

Around 6,800 barrels, or 285,600 gallons, of crude oil gushed out from the hole, said the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, but no impact had yet been seen in and around the site, which is 50 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The line was hit by a bullet from a high-powered rifle, causing the second-largest spill ever from the 24-year-old pipeline and forcing the operator to turn off the flow of 1 million barrels (42 million gallons) of oil a day.

The bullet hole, about halfway along the pipeline which runs from Prudhoe Bay in the Arctic to the Prince William Sound port of Valdez in the south, was spotted on Thursday.

The trans-Alaska pipeline started pumping again early on Sunday after emergency workers repaired the 800-mile (1,296-km) pipeline.

Alaska State Troopers arrested a local man and charged him with criminal mischief, driving while intoxicated, assault and misconduct involving a weapon.

First seen on Reuters

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