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Oil leaks into Hudson River following explosion at US nuclear plant

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The transformer at the Indian Point 3 plant in Buchanan, New York exploded on Saturday evening, causing a fire that forced an automatic shutdown. (AP photo)

Thousands of gallons of oil have leaked into the Hudson River, a day after a loud explosion was heard at a nuclear facility near New York City.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday he was concerned about environmental damage the oil leakage would cause.

On Saturday, an explosion rocked the Indian Point nuclear plant.  Officials said the blast was caused after a transformer exploded.

Eyewitnesses reported plumes of fire and smoke at the site.  

Cuomo said emergency crews were struggling to contain the leakage and clean up the transformer fluid that spilled from Indian Point 3.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

"There's no doubt that oil was discharged into the Hudson River," the governor said. "Exactly how much, we don't know."

"If you are on site, you see an oil sheen all over the area where the transformer went on fire, and it was a significant area that was covered by oil, foam and water," Cuomo said.

Cuomo in the past had called for the plant – located 40 miles (65 km) north of New York City – to be shut down because of its proximity to the populous metropolis.

According to the company running the plant, Entergy Corporation, the affected parts of the facility were "safely shut down" and in "safe and stable condition.”

“The plant’s unit 3 reactor was closed after the explosion but the other one,” Entergy Corporation spokesman Jerry Nappi said.

“The plant’s unit 3 reactor was closed after the explosion but the other one, Unit 2 is still operating,” Entergy Corporation spokesman Jerry Nappi told reporters.

“No threat to public safety at any time,” said the company, attempting to comfort the public as many expressed fears across the state.

People who were nearby the nuclear plant and witnessed the explosion said that there was a large blast followed by fire and then smoke.

The nuclear plant was restarted on Friday after it was shut down for technical repairs.

The plant was built in 1962, but the current reactors operating went online in the late 1970s.

GJH/GJH


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