Thousands of dead fish found in Chinese river after toxic spill

Thousands of dead fish found in Chinese river after toxic spill

BEIJING - Thousands of dead fish have been found floating in a river in central China following a toxic spill, Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of pollution scandals to hit the country's water supplies.

Xinhua said 300 workers had dredged around 100,000 kilograms of dead fish from a 40-km (25-mile) stretch of the Fu river, near the heavily populated city of Wuhan in Hubei province.

The provincial environmental protection agency had identified the Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co Ltd as the company responsible for the Monday's spill, with ammonia levels found to be way beyond acceptable levels, Xinhua said.

Trading in the company's shares was suspended on Wednesday pending an announcement.

The country's new leadership has identified pollution and environmental protection as one of its priorities as it tries to head off sources of political instability and reverse the damage done by three decades of untrammelled economic growth.

In January, the capital Beijing was shrouded in hazardous smog for more than a week, while in March, the rotting corpses of thousands of pigs were found in a river that supplies water to Shanghai.

Beijing has vowed to strengthen monitoring and regulation of industrial firms, many of which have been allowed to pollute with virtual impunity by local governments keen to maintain jobs and revenue.

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