South America

Colombia oil spill kills 2400 animals

An oil spill of 600 barrels has killed more than 2400 animals of different species in northern Colombia, local media is reporting.

An oil spill of 600 barrels has killed more than 2400 animals of different species in northern Colombia, local media reports.

The spill that started near the city of Barrancabermeja early this month stretches over 24 kilometres in the Lizama river and 20 kilometres in the Sogamoso river.

Animals affected by the spill include fish, birds and reptiles, said Claudia Gonzalez, director of the environmental licensing authority ANLA.

Emergency workers found 2400 bodies of animals and rescued 1300 animals still alive, RCN Radio quoted Gonzalez as saying.

About 70 families meanwhile received medical care for symptoms including vomiting, headaches and dizziness. The spill has also affected more than 1000 trees.

Santander department governor Didier Tavera accused oil company Ecopetrol of not taking early action to contain the spill, according to the daily El Tiempo.

The government was investigating whether the spill had been caused by a poorly closed oil well. Ecopetrol said it was waiting for US equipment which would allow it to stem the leak.

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