Thousands of fish are estimated to have died after water filled with mine metals coming from the Băiuț mine accidentally spilled into the river Lăpuş, in northern Romania’s Maramureş county, EuropaFM reported.
The accident happened on March 27. The county road DJ109U and the yards of three households in the Băiuț commune were also affected by the spill, according to the Maramureş Prefecture. Teams of military firemen and voluntaries from Băiuţ intervened to deviate the mining waters and clean the area.
The situation of the fish population was signaled by the Cheile Lăpușului Sport Fishing Association.
“The entire river is affected. We don’t know yet the situation of the fish mortality because we are still monitoring the situation. We can unfortunately call it an ecological disaster in the reservation and on the Lăpuş river,” Viorel Coroian, the president of the association, said, quoted by Someseanul.ro. The fish situation also impacts the birds that feed on them.
The Cheile Lăpușului area was classified as a Natura 2000 site, with 25 kilometers of nature reserve.
The day of the accident, the Maramureş Prefecture said that the fish population was not affected. In a Facebook post from March 29, it explained that “a few cases of dead broodfish of the chub and common nase species” were found. It also listed the repopulation of the river with chub, nase and barbel fish among the measures to be taken.