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Dog walkers told to keep their pets away from water

Thousands of gallons of diesel has leaked into a eight-mile stretch of the River Aire in Leeds - sparking fears for wildlife in the area.The Environment Agency is appealing for help in tracing the source of the leak, which was first noticed on Saturday evening.

It is believed to have come from the Beeston area. Contractors have been on the scene today trying to absorb the oil from the river. People have been told NOT to let their dogs go into the water.

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Pollution scare as diesel flows into River Aire

Environment Agency staff are appealing for businesses and members of the public to help them trace and stop a flow of diesel which has polluted the River Aire between Leeds and Castleford. It was first noticed flowing at Water Lane in Leeds on the evening of Saturday 18 August.

Due to the complicated river and beck system through Leeds, much of which runs underground in culverts, the source has not yet been identified, although it is thought to be in the Beeston or Holbeck areas.

“We are appealing to businesses in the area, especially those that have large quantities of diesel or kerosene stored either above or below ground, to check their tanks immediately and to report any failures during or in the run up to Saturday.

“Someone somewhere has lost and could be continuing to lose very large quantities of oil. Not only is this causing serious pollution they are losing potentially large amounts of money as the fuel drains away.”

– Environment Agency team leader Mark West

An oil leak on this scale can reduce the oxygen in water which makes it difficult for fish and invertebrates to survive. It can also cling to birds’ feathers which affects the waterproofing of their plumage.

Anyone with information should contact the Environment Agency’s hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

River Aire rescue

A woman in her 20s had to be rescued by fire crews after falling into the River Aire in Leeds last night. The woman, who appeared to have been on a night out, fell into the water but managed to pull herself onto the river bank at Bridge End, near the Aireline Taxis depot.

A spokesperson for the fire service said they received a call from the police shortly after midnight asking for assistance to rescue the woman from the verge. Five fire engines responded. Crews used a ladder to reach her and left her in the care of paramedics who then took her to hospital.

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