Unknown criminals pour diesel oil and hydrocarbons into Italy’s Lambro River

The Lambro River is located in Lombardy, in Northern Italy and it operates as a tributary to the much larger Po River. The river stretches across 81 miles and passes through such cities as Erba, Asso and Milan. Largely unknown to people outside of Northern Italy, the Lambro River became a highly discussed object in the early 21st century.

On this day, February 23, in 2010, unknown criminals poured over 2.5 million liters of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the Lambro River. The drop-off point of the pollutants was near the city of Villasanta, but the hydrocarbons extended across the entirety of the river, despite efforts to stop the spreading by law enforcers and civil activists. The pollutants even reached the Po River and caused significant damage to both wildlife and vegetation along the way.

The perpetrators were never caught but the oil was found to belong to the company Lombardia Petroli. The effects of the incident continued on for years after the crime and it became one of the most consequential environmental crises in Italy in the early 21st century.