Attempted oil robbery in Rio de Janeiro leads to major leak

December 10, 2018 GMT

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian authorities say that a major oil leak in Rio de Janeiro was caused by fuel thieves who punctured a pipeline in the Guanabara Bay.

Environmental police responded to calls about the leak Saturday afternoon. They said Monday that they found signs of the would-be fuel theft, but no suspects.

Police say this type of crime is uncommon in the region.

In total, about 15,850 gallons (60,000 liters) were released into the bay.

The Transpetro subsidiary of state oil company Petrobras says about 75 percent of the oil has been recovered and only vestiges remain.

Guanabara Bay hosted several events during the 2016 Rio Olympics. The bay became the focus of a controversy because of high levels of pollution in the water leading up to the Games.