Emergency landing on frozen lake – threatens drinking reservoir

A month prior to the Gulf incident, Lamor was contacted by aviation insurers to urgently respond to an incident in Estonia. The company deployed its equipment and the Lamor Response Team (LRT) to Lake Ülemiste, near Tallinn after an Antonov 26 cargo plane made an emergency landing. The lake, which was frozen solid, is the principal drinking water reservoir for the city thus a vital sources for the residents of Tallinn. Oil leakage from the fuselage of the plane was found under the ice and Lamor was tasked to ensure that the lake was immediately cleaned from any oil or other fluids that could harm the city’s reservoir.

Lake Ülemiste, Location Estonia Coordinates 59°24′N 24°46′E
Surface area 9.6 km², Average depth 2.5 m, Max. depth 6 m, Surface elevation 35.7 m
Lake Ülemiste is the capital Tallinn main drinking water reservoir.

Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport or also known as Ülemiste Airport is located on the eastern shore of Lake Ülemiste and handles both domestic and international flights. The Tallinn Water Company, AS Tallinna Vesi, has a treatment plant on the north shore of the lake, which supplies 90% of the water to the city.

On March 18, 2010, a DHL Antonov An-26 aircraft made an emergency landing on the ice on Lake Ülemiste and 1.5 tons of fuel leaked into the water. Fortunately, none of the 6 crew members were injured. On March 25 Lamor was contacted by aviation insurers to urgently respond to the incident in Estonia. The following morning, the Lamor Response Team (LRT) was on scene in the early morning hours to assess the incident and at noon (12:00 am) LRT presented their solution to solve the exceptional oil recovery of hazardous liquids that had leaked under the ice. The same afternoon, oil recovery equipment was assembled and deployed from Lamor’s warehouses.

Initial oil spill response operations deployed oil containment booms at the emergency landing site and the water intake on the opposite side of the lake was protected by sorbent booms. A fixed configuration of Lamor foam filled booms (FOB) was installed permanently to protect the intake after the ice had melted.

In-situ burning was tried; a test was conducted to remove the oil by burning, however, the amount of oil concentrated was too small to keep the fire burning.

Lamor site incident office, LRT and equipment containers remained on site until the area was reported safe to the public and there was no risk for pollution.
The incident was exceptional and Lamor devised a new and effective method for recovering hazardous substances and liquids under ice. During a three week period, all oil leakage, hydraulic oil and pollutants were recovered successfully.