Full marks to the Environment Agency and the Fire Service for responding so swiftly and professionally when thousands of litres of fuel leaked into the Grand Union Canal in Northamptonshire.The Environment Agency says it has contained the fuel spill at Gayton Marina, which came about as the consequence of deliberate vandalism. 

     An EA spokesperson said: “The fuel leak into the Grand Union Canal has been contained and specialist contractors are currently on-site carrying out clean-up operations. We are helping to advise on the clean-up and we are working with the Canal and River Trust to assess and minimise the environmental impact of the leak.We are also working to support Northamptonshire Police who are leading on the ongoing investigation”

The Northants Herald & Post reports:

Firefighters were called shortly before 4.15am on Saturday to discover a highly inflammable fuel from a pipeline near the marina was leaking directly into the water. Assisted by the Environment Agency, the Canal and River Trust and specialist contractors, an operation was started immediately to stop the leak and to remove the fuel from the surface of the water.The affected areas have been individually assessed by triage staff from the East Midlands Ambulance Service. Ten local people were evacuated from the area and placed in temporary accommodation by staff from Northamptonshire County Council’s Emergency Planning Service. Police have also searched all 150 boats in the immediate area to check on any occupants.

     Chief Supt Paul Fell, who is leading the operation for Northamptonshire Police, said: “I’d like to reassure people this leak will have no detrimental effect on fuel supplies in the local area. However, this was a criminal act which has had very significant environmental consequences in that stretch of the canal. “We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious in that area during the early hours of today to contact us as soon as possible on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 111 222.”

Fishingmagic readers will be kept informed as to the pollution’s effects on fish-life as soon as the Environment Agency releases its report. The Angling Trust has been informed.