Snowfall in mid-August is an exotic phenomenon even for Siberian Omsk. Therefore, when on August 16 in the Soviet district of the city on the territory of Kommunalnaya, Borodin and Zaozernaya streets, precipitation fell in the form of a white powder, the residents were surprised and alarmed. First of all, representatives of the authorities and specialists from Rospotrebnadzor and the Ministry of Emergency Situations in the Omsk region were summoned here.
Representatives of the administration and the service of Rospotrebnadzor arrived at the scene, to whom the alarmed residents demonstrated this powdery, odorless substance, which was covered with a thin layer of their courtyards. The taken powder samples were transferred to the laboratory. Already in the evening of August 16, a message appeared on the website of the Ministry of Emergency Situations that a substance similar in appearance to an ordinary washing powder is ash that fell out of the pipes of the nearest thermal power station. The message also said that no excess concentration of harmful substances was found in the air samples taken, and there were no traces of smoke.
But this did not at all reassure the local residents, who blamed the incident on an oil refinery located nearby and owned by OAO Gazpromneft-ONPZ. Confidence in this only increased when the next day the Rospotrebnadzor department acquainted the public with the results of the study - the powder turned out to be not ash, but aluminosilicate.
In fact, aluminosilicates are harmless, they make up about 50% of the mass of the earth's crust and are a non-toxic substance that is used in many industrial sectors. In the samples, a small amount of arsenic impurity was found in a concentration that is harmless to human health. No hazardous substances: chromium, manganese, cobalt, arsenic, selenium, cadmium and mercury were found in the powder. The substance is mainly composed of silicon and aluminum.
The main source of the release, it seems, really turned out to be an oil refinery, one of its K-1 units. The composition of the samples taken on it basically coincides with the chemical composition of the mysterious white powder. An administrative check was started at the enterprise. The blowout situation could be the result of a violation of the technological regime. The press service of OAO Gazpromneft-ONPZ has not yet received any prompt comments.