Mass Fish Die Off Reported Near Tianjin Blast Site

Posted on August 20, 2015

A mass fish die off has been reported in a river in China near the blast site from the massive Tianjin explosion. The huge explosion killed over 100 people and damaged nearby buildings. It also left behind high levels of cyanide.

The New York Times reports that cyanide levels are 356 times the national standard in areas near the blast site. The Huffington Post reports that the photographs have triggered concerns hazardous chemicals may have contaminated the water. The dead fish are located about six kilometers from the blast site.

A China Daily story cites a Tianjin Environmental Protection official who says five monitoring stations near the dead fish show "no abnormalities." The did detect cyanide compounds in the water but they are "in the normal range compared to the average level in past years."

The official also said it is "not rare to see large quantities of dead fish offshore, because the pollution on the land may flow into the river and sea after rainfall."

It sounds like this part of Tianjin had a bad pollution issue to begin with aside from the monstrous cyanide-laden explosion. Mash fish die offs can be an annual problem in some bodies of water, such as this one reported in western Mexico this week. These death can often be attributed to pollution, heat waves or chemical leaks. As this mass fish death was located near an explosion resulting in high cyanide levels it could certainly be linked to a chemical leak resulting from the blast. If not, then as the government official explained it is just the regular old Tianjin mass fish death caused by pollutants.

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