Special expedition of Emergencies Ministry starts cleaning Baikal bottom

A special expedition of the Emergencies Ministry has launched an operation to clear the bottom of Lake Baikal, the earth's largest body of fresh water in Eastern Siberia. Ten large metallic objects, including a few cars, have been discovered on the bottom of the Olkhon Gates strait, the Main Department of the Emergencies Ministry in the Irkutsk region reported on Tuesday.

Officers of the Emergencies Ministry Akvaspas /Aquarescue/ department, scientists from the Institutes of Oceanology and Limnology /the scientific study of lakes/ are exploring the Baikal bottom with the use of hydro-radars of lateral vision.

The current expedition will last till late this week. Its second stage has been scheduled for the summer of 2003. It's envisaged to raise the sunk vessels - six tug boats and three steamers which will provide against unfavourable ecological consequences the decay of technogenic objects on the lake bottom is fraught with.

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