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Hawaii warns huge molasses spill could draw sharks

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 01:31

Sept. 12 - Health officials warn swimmers, surfers and snorkelers to stay out of the waters near Honolulu after a leak of 1,400 tons of molasses killed hundreds of fish, potentially attracting sharks. Katharine Jackson reports.

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Diving in near Honolulu, Hawaii, Roger White captures the scene in underwater video after a leak of 1,400 tons of molasses killed hundreds of fish. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROGER WHITE, COOL BLUE DIVING, SAYING: "I didn't know so many creatures were down there before, but they're all dead, and they're all just laying across the bottom. Hundreds and hundreds. Thousands." Now Hawaii's Department of Health warns swimmers, surfers and snorkelers should stay out of the water because so many dead fish could attract sharks. The department sent three boats on Thursday to remove hundreds of fish, and they expect to remove thousands more. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GARY GILL, HAWAII STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, SAYING: "This is the worst environmental damage to sea life that I have come across, and its fair to say this is a biggie, if not the biggest that we've had to confront in the state of Hawaii." A brown plume was spotted seeping into Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon on Monday after a ship hauling molasses to the West Coast pulled out to sea. By Tuesday, the health department said a leak was discovered in a molasses pipeline used to load the sweet, sticky liquid onto ships operated by the international ocean transport company, Matson Navigation Company, . Matson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. And the Health Department says there is another environmental danger posed by the spill: "an unusual growth in marine algae" and harmful bacteria. The brown plume was expected to remain visible for weeks while natural tides and currents slowly flush the area.

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Hawaii warns huge molasses spill could draw sharks

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 01:31