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A Shit Ton Of Dead Fish Float Ashore Near Chinese Blast Site

There's no evidence yet that it is related to the water contamination caused by the blast in the city of Tianjin.

Last updated on August 20, 2015, at 7:24 p.m. ET

Posted on August 20, 2015, at 7:24 p.m. ET

Thousands of fish are dying near the site of last week's massive warehouse explosion in the northeastern city of Tianjin that killed at least 114 people.

I got up close to the massive fish die-off in #Tianjin, and now plan to never do anything like that again. #China

From afar the dead fish look like a white ribbon on the water of Haihe River, which is about four miles away from the blast center, but the corpses of the 2-inch-long fish smell very bad, local residents said.

A tide of dead fish won't help nerves in Tianjin.

The warehouse where the explosions occurred stored as many as 40 different chemicals, including massive amounts of highly toxic sodium cyanide, according to state press agency Xinhua.

#Tianjin officials respond to massive fish die-off 6 km away from blast site, investigation underway

In response to the photos, people on Chinese social media have questioned whether chemical materials leaked and contaminated the environment. However, according to CCTV, the results of an official investigation show that no cyanide has been detected.

No #cyanide detected in sample water where massive fish die-off occurred, says #Tianjin’s environmental watchdog


Officials said in a press conference broadcast by CCTV News Thursday morning that there could be different reasons the fish are dying and that possible contaminated water has been kept within the area.

Water at Tianjin blast site contaminated.

But officials have been losing credibility in handling the investigation because internet censors have been deleting posts from the popular Chinese social media site Weibo in order to control information.

Fisherman join water bureau employees in scooping thousands of dead fish from a river in Tianjin. Photos: Liu XIn/GT

In response to the die-off, people on Chinese social media have been making sarcastic jokes, speculating that the fish died from "drowning" because they were "suicidal for being alone on the day of Qixi."*

Mounds of dead fish in Tianjin-- belie Chinese government's assurance about no envion damage.

*Qixi Festival is China's traditional lovers' day and happened this year on the same day that the news broke of the massive fish die-off.

But according to CCTV, officials basically asked people to chill out. "Tianjin's water environment has always been problematic," said Deng Xiaowen, the director of Tianjin Environment Monitoring Center.

View this video on YouTube

"When it rains under high temperature, the contaminated materials on the ground flow into the river and cause eutrophication, and the fish die of suffocation ... it has occurred for many years in Haihe," he added.

Poor fish.