What killed fish in Tianjin, China?

World Today

Massive number of fish washed ashore in Tianjin, officials deny link to chemical leakage.

Thousands upon thousands of small silver fish lining the shores of a river six kilometers from the site of those two massive explosions at the chemical warehouse in Tianjin on August 12th.
Fishermen are helping collect them. They reportedly plan to bury them with lime.

A CCTV reporter was with investigators as they took water samples three times near the fish, Thursday.

“We took samples of waters where dead fish were spotted. We brought the samples to our emergency monitoring vehicle and tested them with professional instruments. The results of the three tests all showed the density of cyanide is 0 milligrams,” said Bian Shaowei, of the Tianjin Environmental Monitor Center.

News reports in the Global Times suggest the fish died because of an annual change in the salt level in the water — not pollution from the Tianjin blast.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But there’s no doubt that the blast released plenty of toxic cyanide.  The explosion created a chemical lake where cyanide levels are 800 times higher than the normal level.  Cyanide levels in pools of water near the site are up to 356 times above normal.  Experts have begun treating the water.  Even outside the quarantine zone, some testing sites are finding cyanide at levels up to eight-times what is normal.

Tianjin officials say devices have been set up near the contaminated sites to neutralize cyanide. Also Thursday – hundreds of cleaners and dozens of trucks began to remove debris at the blast site.
Officials say because they can spread pollution, they will be decontaminated as they go in and out of the quarantined area.

Air and soil testing are still going on along nearby roads. So far, those tests have been ruled “basically safe,” but investigators want to make sure that they can assess whether there could be any long-term impact of the chemical explosion on the site and its surroundings.

President Xi Jinping met with members of the State Council who are investigating the explosion.  In a statement released afterwards, he and other government officials promise to thoroughly investigate the cause of the blasts.  President Xi stressed the need for transparency and severe punishment for those responsible.

Tianjin cleanup from the disastrous explosion remains a slow and dangerous process

More than one week after the explosions at a warehouse in Tianjin killed at least 114 people, huge numbers of dead fish are washing up on the banks of a river. CCTV’s Mike Walter filed this report.
Follow Mike Walter on Twitter @mikewaltercctv.