Fears huge Russian diesel spill could reach ocean

The major diesel fuel spill that hit the Russian Arctic last month has had a concerning development:

It's reached a pristine lake which serves as the basin for a river flowing into the Arctic Ocean.

That's according to the regional governor, who says it needs to be stopped before it gets any further.

A fuel tank at a power station in the city of Norilsk lost pressure in late May, leaking 21,000 tonnes of diesel into rivers and subsoil.

Greenpeace says the scale of the disaster is comparable to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

The lake that it's now reached, called Lake Pyasino, about is about 20 kilometers north of Norilsk.

Lake Pyasino is about 70km long.

The city of Norilsk is built around a major mining company, Norilsk Nickel.

The governor says the catastrophe was the worst of its kind in the Arctic in modern Russian history - and that questions need to be answered about why it took the company two days to inform authorities.

Last week, President Vladimir Putin declared a state of emergency in the region.

And he criticized authorities for what he said was a bungled response to the incident.