Skip to main content

River in China turns red

By Tian Shao, CNN
updated 5:49 AM EST, Fri December 16, 2011
The Jian River flows red after being polluted with dye from an illegal workshop.
The Jian River flows red after being polluted with dye from an illegal workshop.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The red sheen on the river lasted for nearly two days
  • Officials said the cause was an illegal workshop dumping red dye into the river
  • Lab result show that despite color, the water did not have poisonous elements

Beijing (CNN) -- Earlier this week, the Jian River that runs through the city of Luoyang, Henan province in northern China, turned bloody red.

Local media started receiving panicky phone calls from citizens on Tuesday morning saying that the water of the Jian River near their neighborhood has become blood-like overnight.

The eerie sheen on the river lasted for nearly two days before local government officials managed to track down the source of pollutant: an illegal workshop dumping red dye into the city's storm water pipe network connecting the river.

Luoyang Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau cut off the workshop's power supply immediately and conducted a thorough examination, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Workers said on December 12 they had been rinsing a batch of red plastic bags for recycle but did not expect the consequences, Xinhua said.

The bags then were further traced back to nearby Mengjin County to a small chemical plant.The plant was accused of illegally producing red dye for firework wrappers preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Lab results from the Environmental Protection Bureau showed that despite the gruesome color, the "bloody water" contained no heavy metal or organic, poisonous elements.

The river has turned back to normal color on Thursday night, according to the Xinhua report.

But Luoyang residents said the Jian River changes color often because of the various pollutants and domestic garbage being dumped in or along it. Some even say they have seen it turn dark green.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT