Oil Spill Pollutes Hampshire River

Environment Agency officers have been out since early on Friday to assess the extent of a major oil spill along the River Bourne in Hampshire – one of the country's most important salmon fishing rivers.

They're doing everything they can to minimize the effects of the spill.

Environment Agency officers have been working throughout the day, taking samples along the length of the river and further downstream to check the  spread of the oil. Approximately 10km of the river has been affected.

Operations delivery teams have deployed booms and absorbent pads at several locations across the River Bourne and the River Test to contain the oil pollution.

As a precaution they have deployed the ‘River Guardian’ inflatable boom on the River Test, two miles north of Stockbridge. Pollution has not reached this far, and officials say it's just a safety measure.

No dead fish have been reported, but fisheries officers say they will continue to keep a close watch on river life. Officers will continue to monitor the situation and respond as necessary.

Environment Agency Manager Simon Moody said:

"This is a major oil spill along the River Bourne. Environment Agency officers have been out since first light doing everything
they can to minimise the impact on the environment.

"We will be overseeing the clean up and will launch a full investigation into the cause.

"We advise people to keep themselves and their pets out of the water until the incident is resolved."

Anyone with information can call the Environment Agency's 24 hour Incident Hotline number on 0800 807060.

(The picture is Matt Evans, Environment Officer using oil absorbent pads to soak up oil on the River Test near Hurstbourne Priors)

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