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Poland Seeks Help to Find Cause of Oder River Contamination

An excavator pulls out dead fish along the bank of the Oder River near Krajnik Dolny, Poland, on Aug. 15. 

An excavator pulls out dead fish along the bank of the Oder River near Krajnik Dolny, Poland, on Aug. 15. 

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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Poland is seeking help from abroad to discover the source of toxic contamination in the Oder River following a fish die-off that environmental groups have described as the country’s biggest environmental disaster in years.

The government in Warsaw sent water samples to labs in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and the UK, Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said on Twitter. Over the weekend, Polish emergency services pulled 80 tons of dead fish from the river -- Poland’s second longest -- and banned swimming and the use of boats.