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Beer Spill Kills Colo. Fish
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) -- An employee of Coors Brewing Co. flipped the wrong switch and sent 77,500 gallons of beer into a creek, killing thousands of fish and prompting health warnings.
The beer, which was in fermenting tanks, washed through a wastewater treatment plant before ending up in Clear Creek on Friday, said Coors spokeswoman Aimee St. Clair. The fish likely suffocated from the alcohol -- among other things -- produced in the tanks.
''Somebody made a mistake,'' she said. ''We're trying to track down how it happened so it doesn't happen again.''
The Colorado Department of Public Health advised residents to avoid contact with the creek south of the brewery because of a small bacterial risk. The water could cause illness if consumed, said J. David Holm, director of the Water Quality Division.
Officials with the state Division of Wildlife could not give a precise number of fish killed but estimated it was thousands up and down the river.
''There are probably 200 to 300 fish right here in probably a 20- to 30-yard stretch,'' said Scott Hoover of the wildlife division.
State and federal investigators have not determined whether any fines will be levied against the company.
-- Rachel Gibson (email@example.com), August 26, 2000