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Belfast’s Blackstaff River Turns Red

Blackstaff River runs red after ink spill by Belfast firm 

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency is investigating after being called to the river in the Boucher Road area yesterday morning when a member of the public posted photographs showing the water having changed colour.

"River Blackstaff looking healthy today..." Twitter user Aaron K wrote online.

A Belfast packaging firm later admitted it was responsible for the pollution spill that caused the Blackstaff to change colour.

Neal McCone, a director at Delta Packaging, said it was a case of "human error" and that the substance posed no risk to health or wildlife.

"It is an accidental discharge of one of our inks which is a water-based, food-safe ink so it poses no threat to the environment."

He said it was a relatively small amount of ink, approximately 20 or 30 litres at the most.

"It doesn't paint a very attractive picture but even now, it has been significantly diluted at this stage."

He said the product did not pose a risk to fish or plant life.

Alliance MLA Anna Lo, chair of the Stormont Environment Committee, said the spill was still worrying.

"This is very bad news for all of us," she said.

"Pollution in our water really affects biodiversity and wildlife. "

Ms Lo says she is always disappointed to learn of rivers being treated without respect.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

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