Chinese authorities claim that neither air nor water quality have been affected by the giant explosions that occurred August 12 in the port of Tianjin, destroying a warehouse that stored toxic chemicals. However, these photos are casting doubt on those claims.

Several amateur photos relayed by the Chinese news site Sohu.com show heaps of dead fish floating in Hai Hai river, which crosses through Tianjin. Local residents who spoke to Shanghaiist confirm seeing this.


 

Amateur photos circulating on Chinese social media networks.
 
Photos published by Sohu News before they disappeared from the website.

The Sohu.com article, in which many of these photos were published, explained that they were taken 6 kilometres from Tianjin port. However, the article was only briefly accessible and has since disappeared from the site. Since the explosions, Chinese authorities have already shuttered more than 50 websites for allegedly “inciting panic” over the disaster, and are heavily censoring discussions of Tianjin on social media networks.

Pn Thursday, Tianjin environemental authorities sent workers to the river to investigate. According to their initial results, there are no toxic chemicals in the river. Their hypothesis: the fish died due to the season's high temperatures

However, these photos raise concerns following statements by the Chinese authorities that cyanide levels around the disaster site are 250 to 350 times higher than acceptable levels. More than 40 toxic chemicals were stored at the blast site. 

Chinese Internet users have already posted many sarcastic comments in reaction to the authorities' findings on the fish deaths. Some of the most popular jibes include: "Thirty-one fish have died, and 72 are in critical condition. Everything is under control"; "The water quality is very good; the fish died from depression!" and "Who dumped so many dead fish by the river? They must be trying to give Tianjin a bad reputation."