A 1,600-liter barrel of diesel fell from a helicopter into the water near Pyramiden while it being carried by one of The Governor of Svalbard’s aircraft, with those transporting the fuel lacking the equipment to contain the spill before it dispersed into the sea, according to officials.
The incident was captured on film by Adam Sébire, a student from Australia, who was on the ground while the helicopter was attempting to bring the fuel to Avinor’s base station on Torfjellet on Friday.
“There was strong current in the area,” Police Chief Lt. Trond Olsen told Svalbardposten. “The governor did not have equipment on hand to clean it up with the hand. That is why the diesel disappeared into the sea.”
Because the governor is responsible for the helicopter and knows the pilots, the incident is being investigated by other officials.
“It is therefore decided that the case will be forwarded to the prosector’s office in Troms and Finnmark, with request for a parliamentary hearing,” Terje Carlsen, a spokesman for the governor, told NRK.