More than 100 tonnes of dead fish have been pulled form a river in China after they were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant, environmental officials have said.

Tens of thousands of dead fish were cleared from a 25-mile (40km) stretch of the Fuhe river in Wuhan, the capital of the central province of Hubei.

The local environmental protection department blamed the Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co. A sampling of its drain outlet showed an ammonia density which far exceeded the national standard. The company has refused to comment.

The incident has caused worry among the residents in the nearby city of Wuhan and the fishing village Huanghualao. Rampant pollution has plagued China for years.

Huanghualao's party secretary Wang Sanqing said: "The dead fish covered the entire river and looked like snowflakes." The owners of the village's 150 fishing boats could lose up to 70,000 yuan (£7,300) a day as a result of the poisoning.

The dead fish were mainly carp, chub and snakehead.

The environmental department has warned people not to eat the although they said the the water was safe to drink. It ordered Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock to suspend operations until the pollution problem has been fixed.

The incident came after more than 16,000 dead pigs were recovered from a river which runs through the commercial hub of Shanghai earlier this year.

The environmental department confirmed "a great number of fish" had been recovered (Reuters)
The environmental department confirmed \'a great number of fish\' had been recovered from the Fuhe (Reuters)