A week after a deadly explosion at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin, China, thousands of dead fish have been washing up along the riverbank in Tianjin. Residents of Tianjin have been fearful that the river water would become contaminated from the chemical explosion. Potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, magnesium, and 700 tons of sodium cyanide, were being stored at the warehouse when the explosion occurred.
Authorities in China claim that there is no link between the explosion that killed 116 people and the dead Tianjin fish washing up on shore. CCTV News in China reported that the dead Tianjin fish were located 3.7 miles away from where the chemical explosion took place. This location is thought to be outside of the blast zone, but many residents fear that the dead Tianjin fish is a sign that the chemicals have contaminated further than is being reported by China. Officials claim that the highly contaminated water is being contained within a “warning zone,” and outside of that zone, all environmental tests are within normal ranges.
The Guardian, the official news agency of China, reported that tests have been done on the river where the dead fish are appearing. The test results show that no cyanide toxicity exists there. Tian Weiyong, an official at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, states that a high level of sodium cyanide exists near the blast site.
“Cyanide pollution is severe inside the warning zone. Outside the zone overall, the amount of cyanide detected is at normal range.”
Deng Xiaowen, the head of Tianjin’s environment monitoring center, commented on the Tianjin fish.
“It was not uncommon for fish to die en masse in local rivers during summer, due to poor water quality. When the temperature rises, oxygen will evaporate and fish may die of hypoxia.”
The immediate area surrounding the warehouse that exploded is still generating unsafe chemical levels. The environmental chief in Tianjin, Wen Wurui, commented about the clean up and how the health of the people will be impacted.
“For safety reasons, the team can’t work when it rains and during the night. And there is a great variety of chemicals and the placement is very complicated. We can’t say when the cleanup work in the blast center will be finished.”
What are your thoughts about the cause of the dead Tianjin fish in China? Are the reports coming out of China telling the truth? Is the massive fish die off something that occurs naturally during this time of year?