River Turns Blood-Red in an Hour
Chinese company may have dumped red dye: officials
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2014 6:56 PM CDT
A similar incident in 2006 shows China's Yellow River, turned red after pollution caused by discharge from a sewage pipe in Lanzhou, in western Gansu province.   (AP Photo/EyePress, File)

(Newser) – A river in China that looked just fine at 5am had turned blood-red about an hour later and was emitting an odd smell, ABC News reports. Environmental inspectors in Zhejiang province said they haven't found a cause yet but suspect illegal dumping of artificial coloring. Whoever did it "thought the typhoon yesterday would cause heavy rain, and nobody would notice" the color, said Jianfeng Xiao, the chief inspector. But no rain came yesterday, "so the evidence is left behind."

Xiao noted that a clothing-maker, a food-coloring company, and a paper manufacturer all have addresses along the river in eastern China. A company that dumped red dye was behind the sudden reddening of China's Jian River in 2011, reports Business Insider, which has incredible Twitter photos of the current red river—like this one.