Aerial view of river pollution from a gold mine in Siberia. Residents in the TransBaikal district of Mogochinsky reported the 'unnatural' colour of the Itaka River, prompting a full-scale health alert. Photo: Zab TV / The Siberian Times

24 September 2015 (The Siberian Times) – Residents in the TransBaikal district of Mogochinsky reported the 'unnatural' colour of the Itaka River prompting a full-scale health alert. Local environmental officials blame 'significant violations' at a local gold mine amid concerns for people living downstream of the pollution outbreak.

The district's administration chief Dmitry Plyukhin said: 'There are four settlements of about 3,000 people. Water is not used for drinking but for household needs of residents, for baths, watering gardens.'

Locals have been told they 'should not use this water until we found what substance has got into the river'. Checks were being undertaken to establish if 'radioactive or toxic' material had been released. He could not believe there was 'nothing serious' in the red torrent.

Water samples have been taken for analysis, and the outpouring has been checked from the air by helicopter.

River turns red as goldmine blamed for 'serious' pollution

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