Russian river turns 'acid' orange after mine spill

Russia’s ‘acid’ river

is devastating nearby nature

Location: Sverdlovsk

The streams turned orange after a spill

from a nearby abandoned copper mine

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) ECOLOGIST, ANDREI VOLEGOV, SAYING:

"Sulfuric acid reaction takes place here and this sulfuric acid burns out everything in the area - soil, trees, destroys the surface layer, grass, fish die. All these heavy metals in soluble

form should not be in the water."

Volegov says an accident in 1997 caused the mine to flood

the consequences were never fully resolved

Now the water comes up through the mine shafts

and causes a chemical reaction

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RESIDENT OF LEVIKHA VILLAGE, VALERY SAYAPIN, SAYING:

"Previously there was a variety of fish, but now that's what we have."

JOURNALIST ASKING: "Because of the mine?

"The mine waters are down there, where there are old quarries, but here on the pond there is nothing like that."

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RESIDENT OF LEVIKHA VILLAGE, NAIL, SAYING:

"How can this not be poison? All the acid goes into the river, there is no fish now, there is nothing there."

Russian prosecutors are now checking the facility

and have launched an official investigation

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