Workers from an environmental protection team have accidentally caused an environmental disaster – releasing millions of litres of toxic wastewater into a river in Colorado.
The spill has turned the Animas River into a mustard-coloured pollution zone with the contaminated leak said to contain heavy metals like arsenic, mercury and lead,
Three times bigger than initially thought, the leak has spread beyond Colorado’s borders, notably into neighbouring New Mexico.
It started when workers from the US Environmental Protection Agency were cleaning up an abandoned mine and inadvertently unleashed a flow of the orange-tinged slurry.
There are reports of residents weeping as the once crystal-clear Animas River was closed down in an emergency measure.
The long-term environmental effects of the spill remain unclear.