Friday, May 16, 2014

150,000 litres of fuel leak into Marlborough farmland as thieves target pipeline


The Esso pipeline was drilled into by thieves on the estate of the late multi-millionaire Robert Sangster

Up to 150,000 litres of fuel leaked into farmland in Marlborough after thieves drilled through a major Esso pipeline.

The attack on the pipeline running through the estate of the late multi-millionaire Robert Sangster in Manton happened on April 2, causing a high risk of an explosion.

News of the incident, in which a tapping device was used to break into the pipeline 8ft underground, has only just emerged. It pumps fuel from the Fawley Refinery in Hampshire to a distribution terminal in Birmingham.

A hose had been connected to the pipe, which carries a range of fuels, and was then hidden with soil. It was disturbed by a farmer, resulting in the leak.

Esso does not yet know how much fuel has leaked but says 150,000 litres would be the worst case scenario.

A spokesman said: “The pipeline was quickly repaired and has resumed operation and there is no indication of any impact on human health as a result of the leak.

“We remain committed to resolving the situation fully. At the moment we are trying to determine whether there has been a leak and if there has, where the fuel has gone.”

A 500-metre safety cordon was put into place while the scale of the incident was established and people living nearby moved as a precaution.

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