• There has been a massive fish die-off in the Kentucky River after run-off from a fire at a Jim Beam warehouse seeped into a local creek.
  • US environmental officials are still calculating the number of fish that died because of the fire.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.


There has been a large-scale fish die-off in the Kentucky River in the US after run-off from a fire at a local Jim Beam warehouse seeped into a nearby creek.

The fire broke out last week after a suspected lightning strike in the area and destroyed approximately 45,000 barrels of alcohol. Firefighters tried to hold back on using water to put out the blaze, knowing that run-off could trickle into a local creek and poison the river with bourbon.

Unfortunately, that seems to have happened anyway. On Sunday, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet released a statement saying the run-off has extended 23 miles down the Kentucky River.

See also: 45,000 barrels of Jim Beam whiskey are fuelling a major fire, which may have been sparked by a lightning strike

They added that the US Department to Fish and Wildlife Resources is trying to determine how many fish have died.

Officials are racing to prevent more fish from dying

Officials are testing the quality of the water and aerating the river to try to prevent more fish from dying.

"We continue to see dead and dying fish. People using the Kentucky River in the area of the plume will likely see and smell dead fish," the statement read. "We expect the plume to dissipate quickly at it enters the much, much larger body of water but there could be some impact to aquatic life immediately where the two rivers meet."

Beam Suntory, Jim Beam's parent company, told ABC News that they sent environmental cleanup crews and consultants to the area after the blaze.

Kim Strohmeier, who lives along the river, told WKYT that he's never seen anything like the fish die-off.

"I don't believe I would want to swim in it right now. In a few days when all this passes, it will be fine," Strohmeier told the local CBS affiliate. "A lot of fisherman in both the Elkhorn Creek and the river here ... folks aren't going to have much success fishing in the river in the next few weeks."

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: