Polish PM vows action over River Odra contamination

Lech Muszyński/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has said that those responsible for the gigantic pollution spill in the River Odra would be held accountable.

Large numbers of dead fish were first spotted in the country’s second longest river in late July.

Since then more than 10 tonnes of dead fish have been hauled out of the Odra in what has been described as an ecological disaster.

Preliminary tests have shown that the river might have been contaminated by a chemical substance, toxic to aquatic organisms.

"It is likely that enormous amounts of chemical waste have been dumped into the River Odra, and this was done with full awareness of the risks and consequences," Morawiecki said in a regular Facebook podcast on Friday.

"We will not let this matter go, we will not rest until the guilty are severely punished, he added.

According to Morawiecki, the scale of the pollution is so big that "it may take years for the River Odra to return to a fairly normal state."

He added that all water services were now on the highest alert and that water samples are being tested every day.

"But I can assure you that this is just the beginning, because now the most important issue is finding the perpetrator, the poisoner," Morawiecki said.

The investigation into the Odra’s contamination is being handled by the District Prosecutor's Office in Wroclaw, south-western Poland.