Experts appointed to help prosecution find cause of Odra disaster

Marcin Bielecki/PAP

Prosecutors investigating the cause of the massive fish die-off in the River Odra have appointed a team of experts to help both the prosecutor's office and police, the justice minister has said.

Over 100 tonnes of dead fish have been found since late July in the Odra, Poland's second longest river, in one of the worst environmental disaster to hit Poland in recent years.

Just what killed the fish, and how and where it entered the river remains unclear.

"As soon as I learned about the disaster, I decided to establish an investigative team to examine all the circumstances of the river pollution," Zbigniew Ziobro, who is also prosecutor general, told a Polish public radio programme on Thursday.

Ziobro said that, at the moment, human activity seems to be the most likely cause of the environmental disaster but natural causes were also being considered.

He added that an intensive inquiry was being conducted and that the team he had ordered to set up was composed of seven prosecutors and five police officers.

Asked whether the investigation would cover the delayed reaction of the Polish authorities to the ecological catastrophe on the Odra, Ziobro said that this would also be the subject of criminal proceedings by the country's prosecutor's office. 

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