"Evidence suggests that it was a man-made disaster. What was the background for it? It could have been caused by a variety of reasons from non-compliance with the technology, ending with a violation of the rules regulating the use of contaminated clothes (at the plant - Ed.) and so on," he said.
According to him, the occupation authorities of Crimea tried to hide the chemicals leakage from the Titan Plant.
"In the hope that this was a one-time discharge, the occupiers tried to hush it up. But the facts show that it was a long-lasting man-made catastrophe," Kurkchi stressed.
He added that the relevant agencies are now waiting for the results of the examination of the soil samples taken by the Mykolaiv Institute of Land Management two weeks ago.
On Sept. 3, the media reported that in the past week the Ukrainian border guards in Kherson region who are protecting the administrative border with temporarily occupied Crimea had repeatedly recorded cases of toxic chemical emissions allegedly from the Titan Plant located in the occupied peninsula.
According to the Azov-Black Sea regional department of the State Border Service, the military detected toxic substances in the air with chemical detectors once again near the Chaplynka checkpoint. The border guards informed the local authorities, law enforcement agencies and evacuated personnel from areas exposed to chemical contamination.
In addition, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights of Residents of Crimea and Sevastopol Ismail Khalikov said on Facebook that there was a leak of unknown chemical substance in the north of Crimea in the early hours of August 24.
On August 30, Crimean environmentalists and experts concluded that the cause behind the environmental disaster could be evaporation of acid at the Titan Plant due to abnormal heat and the absence of water in the North Crimean Canal. The towns of Armyansk and Yany Kapu are most affected: all metal items are covered with rust, there is a persistent odor of acid, and dead birds are occasionally found on the ground.
The Russian-controlled local authorities announced that the Crimean Titan Plant had been halted for two weeks, and the evacuation of children from Armyansk to Crimean resorts had begun, the Krym.Realii news outlet said. The concentration of sulfurous acid anhydride has exceeded the norm, they said.