Alabama probes fish killed after sewage spilled near creek

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ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — The mayor of Athens, Alabama is blaming an “employee error” for a sewage spill that killed thousands of fish in water near Swan Creek.

Al.com reports the spill killed about 3,000 fish, including 17 federally protected slackwater darters. The endangered species lives in some Alabama and Tennessee creeks.

The newspaper cites the News Courier in Athens in reporting that maintenance workers had blocked a sewer line for examination but didn’t remove the blockage afterward.

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks told Al.com that “this was a regrettable employee error.” He says an internal investigation is ongoing.

The spill was first reported to the state Department of Environmental Management. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is investigating.

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Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews

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