It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Cyanide spill in local river

page: 1

log in


posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 07:23 AM
Times Live

Full article:

The spill was discovered on Thursday morning when cows died after drinking from a stream near a site outside Newcastle, spokesman Dumisani Thabethe said.
Residents appeared to have escaped harm so far. "There is no one who has been reported to have been affected by the spillage," he said.
Thabethe said: "We are told that about 11 cows have died, but by late evening it was 50, but I am not too sure about the accuracy of the figures.
"Our concern is people getting water directly from the river."
As a precaution, uThukela Water broadcast a warning on the Newcastle community radio station on Thursday. The spill might have come from a site where synthetic rubber was being manufactured, but this was still being investigated, Thabethe said.
The Ngagane river was flushed with water from the Ntshingwayo dam on Thursday in an attempt to dilute the chemical content.
Water was being released from the dam at 16,000 litres per second.
Thabethe said HTH, chlorine used in domestic swimming pools, was poured into the river before it was flushed. "They were hoping to stimulate a chemical reaction between the HTH and the cyanide."

And an article by Look Local states:

The spill was discovered this morning when cows drinking water from a stream running from the Karbochem site, died within moments of taking a few sips.


Concern for the environment is a vital element in Karbochem's product development and research activities. The company is highly sensitive to the need for safety measures, environmental controls and the efficient use of resources in all its manufacturing operations. The most advanced technology available has been installed to protect the environment against hazardous wastes and harmful effluents. At both the company's plants, waste water is environmentally treated to such a standard that it can be returned to the regional distribution system. The state-of-the art solution polymerisation plant at Newcastle is designed to use only environmentally friendly aliphatic solvents in its elastomer production process. It is Karbochem policy to promote the principles and practices of responsible care by sharing experiences and offering assistance to others who produce, handle, use, transport or dispose of chemicals and related products.

Clearly not.

Not really much to discuss, they are flushing the river with chlorine, which is the best they can do under the circumstances, but i have to ask, how do we stop supporting companies like this? Their Products page doesn't really tell me much.

How else can we hold these people and companies responsible for their actions? Forget global climate warming change, this is infinitely more deadly, and preventable ... but like Exxon et al, carry on no matter who pollutes what.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 07:32 AM
And in further conspiratorial fashion, the disaster management meeting was changed to exclude the press. No public statement has yet been made.

Look Local

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 07:35 AM
This is really bad. Lets hope the water doesnt get into anybodys drinking supply.

If i was the owner those cows, i would sue the responsible company and use the money for good.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 07:40 AM
"Highly sensitive to safety needs"? Apparently not. Unbelievable that something like this could happen with a substance as dangerous as cyanide. And all that chlorine will mutate the wild life in the rivers and streams. (I've seen what it does to critters who sometimes fall into my swimming pool). This is a huge disaster.

ETA: Ah, nevermind about "mutation". The wildlife will be dead from the cyanide a long time before they have a chance to mutate. This is despicable. I know accidents happen. But cyanide? This could wind up killing a lot of people too.
edit on 2/17/2012 by BellaSabre because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 07:43 AM
Unfortunately these companies come in to areas usually off the beaten path promising safety, and wealth most the time and this ends of happening all too often. The sad thing is if you look at these " accidental spills " they have it makes you wonder if its not on purpose to see how the community will react to it, almost in hope that people will overlook it or say " well yes its bad but they have done more good over harm so far ".

That is the scary truth IMO but things happen an investigation by the company happens and our (useless) govt and they are always cleared of any wrong doing...... This will most likely happen the same unfortunately and if anyone does die from this well it will either be covered up, or the price of doing business.

What a sad world we live in now.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 12:24 PM
And they're being done on purpose IMO, and if there is a big Solar Flare that takes out the grid or something, they probably plan to poison all the water ways.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 12:40 PM
Cyanide is nothing to mess with. I am very sorry this is happening.

posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 12:43 AM
Thre are two "synthetic rubber" plants in the town, this massive establishment, and another smaller affair down the road. I had initially thought it was the "little guy" .. some idiot emptying something into the storm drain ... that happens.

But that this massive industrial complex could so easily do something so utterly stupid is beyond me. No the system doesn't work.

posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:53 AM
From IOL:

A Newcastle company says it will compensate the owners of cattle which died of cyanide poisoning following pollution of the town’s Ngagane River last week. The Water Affairs and Forestry Department said a formal investigation would be launched into the incident following the deaths of 15 cattle. Jaco Prinsloo, spokesman for synthetic rubber manufacturer Karbochem, said those who had lost cattle as a result of the poisoning would be compensated. It was the first time in 30 years of operation that such an incident had occurred, he said.

So 15 cows only, and fortunately no people died. Could have been worse i suppose.

Still wholly unacceptable.

new topics

top topics


log in