BEIJING (Reuters) – Waste water dumped by factories into a river in southwest China has poisoned and killed about 40,000 kg (88,180 lb) of fish, media said on Tuesday.
Eighty government officials went door to door in Chongan town, Guizhou province, to warn villagers not to eat, sell or transport the fish, state radio and news portal www.sina.com.cn reported.
Dead fish were found floating on a 5-km (3-mile) stretch of the murky and foul-smelling river on August 10, the media said, adding it would take another four to five days to clear them away.
Officials blamed the deaths on upstream factories dumping excessive levels of fluorine, phosphate and arsenium into the river, the media reports said.
The government has been struggling to curb pollution from factories and mines that have driven frantic economic growth.
Last month the nation’s top environmental protection official warned public anger with worsening pollution was fuelling increasing protests. He also criticized local governments for turning a blind eye to factories transforming rivers into “sticky glue.”