Apr 11, 2007

Sugar Spill Blamed in Bangkok Fish Deaths

The Pollution Control has concluded that a sunken sugar barge in Bangkok that spilled 600 tons of raw sugar into the Chao Phraya River last month is responsible for killing tens of thousands of taptim fish and other aquatic life in Angthong and Ayutthaya.

The department reported to the Bangkok Post that the amount of sugar was so large that it caused a chain reaction and increased water-borne bacteria in the area. The bacteria then used up the oxygen to digest the sugar, thus the fish and other animals could not survive.

The results of the investigation also ended the suspicion that the pollution was caused by untreated wastewater discharged from a company run by KTMSG Co. Though villagers discovered pipelines running under the river, these were not being used by the factory to discharge wastewater into the river.

The investigation also contradicts findings by the Engineering Institute of Thailand, which claimed to have discovered evidence that KTMSG Co. has not been properly treating its wastewater for the last ten years.

The Bangkok Post reports that The Pollution Control and Fisheries departments have plans to file civil lawsuits against the boat operator, and demand compensation for the environmental damage.