UPDATE 1-At least 40 percent of Canada oil spill recovered -officials

Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:21pm EDT
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(Adds comment from province, Husky Energy, background)

By Ethan Lou

July 24 (Reuters) - Authorities have recovered at least 40 percent of the 1,572 barrels of oil that leaked into a major western Canadian river, but the spill is still moving downstream and threatening the drinking water of riverside communities, officials said on Sunday.

The heavy oil and diluent leaked from Husky Energy Inc's Saskatchewan Gathering System pipeline on Thursday, flowing into the North Saskatchewan River.

In a telephone conference with reporters, officials from the province of Saskatchewan said they had built five booms to contain the spill and were working with Husky and the federal government on a cleanup plan.

The oil plume had passed the village of Maymont, more than 100 km (62 miles) downstream from where the spill started, said Wes Kotyk, executive director of environment protection with the province.

Husky said the cleanup at the site of the leak had been completed, although neither it nor the province gave a time line for resolving the issue entirely.

The company also said three birds had been "impacted" by the spill and that one died.

It was not immediately clear what caused the spill, which the province said first appeared 300 metres (yards) from the river, a figure revised from an earlier one of 600 metres.   Continued...