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Cause still unclear: Oil slick on the Rhine in Bonn

Cause still unclear : Oil slick on the Rhine in Bonn

A large oil slick lay on the Rhine in Bonn on Tuesday. Where the pollution came from is currently being investigated. The police is looking for whoever caused this and asking for more witnesses.

A broad oily shimmering carpet stretched across the Rhine on Tuesday evening. This is how GA reader Harald Talarczyk describes it, who rode his bicycle across the Konrad Adenauer Bridge that evening and took a photo of the event. "I noticed a massive oil pollution of the Rhine around 8:15 pm. And it was on the entire width of the river," Talarczyk wrote to us. The pollution continued into the evening hours. Even at 9 p.m. it was still visible. It must have come from a massive leak somewhere upstream, Talarczyk suspects. He had informed the police, who told him that they already knew about it and that it was supposed to be palm oil.

First observations in Linz

On inquiry with the directorate of the water police Duisburg their press speaker Jonas Tepe confirms that around 15.40 o'clock a rowing boat driver reported a contamination with Andernach. This should have been able to be seen then around 20 o'clock also from the height of the Kennedybrücke. It was a thin-layered, odorless, milky gray substance. A police helicopter was able to observe the carpet from Linz to Cologne," says Bernd Spoo of the Andernach water police. However, he said, it is not assumed that it came from a ship. "It looks like it's probably being discharged somewhere from land."

Witnesses are said to have reported different perceptions to the police. "It ranges from smelling like old chip fat to having no odor," Spoo said. This could involve palm oil, he said. "We have companies in our area that discharge this kind of thing into the Rhine." That's also permitted and not punishable, he said. "Our patrols are currently still out investigating that.“

Police still looking for cause

Already on Tuesday morning, around 10:30, a woman had reported pollution at the height of Plittersdorf. Shortly thereafter, the water police station Bonn had been on site and had discovered approximately at the height Plittersdorf on the left bank of the Rhine a "product containing mineral oil".

Surrounding ships could be excluded as source of the contamination. This case is not connected to the large carpet on Tuesday evening.

For the time being, no further action was taken. "The colleagues had to file a report, because it is a criminal offense," said the spokesman for the water police. Further witnesses are asked to contact the police station Bonn under the number 0203/2803112.

(Original text: Thomas Leurs, Translation: Mareike Graepel)