A half-mile section of China’s Yellow River turned “red and smelly” after an unknown discharge was poured into it from a sewage pipe, state media said Monday.
The incident in Lanzhou, a city of 2 million people in western Gansu province, follows a string of industrial accidents that have poisoned major rivers in China over the last year, forcing several cities to shut down their water systems.
It wasn’t immediately clear what was tainting the section of the Yellow River. Environmental protection officials took samples and were trying to determine whether the sewage was toxic, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Related article: ‘China’s Yellow River plagued by pollution” from Reuters, which says, “Nearly three-quarters of the river, which supplies water to 12 percent of China’s 1.3 billion people and 15 percent of its farmland, had been badly tainted by sewage, industrial waste, fertiliser and other pollutants, it said.”