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21,000 fish die in "catastrophic failure" at UC Davis

FILE - Fish swim past a viewing window in a tank on June 19, 2019.{ } (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
FILE - Fish swim past a viewing window in a tank on June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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DAVIS, Calif. (AP) — About 21,000 fish died of possible chlorine exposure at a University of California, Davis research and care facility, school officials said Thursday.

The university is investigating a “catastrophic failure” at the UC Davis Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture, according to a statement. Officials didn't say what kind of fish were killed.

“The loss appears to be due to chlorine exposure, to which fish are especially sensitive," the statement said.

UC Davis has also initiated an independent external review to determine where systems failed and any potential risks at similar facilities, officials said.

Scientists and students at the aquaculture center address “problems associated with California’s cultured and wild aquatic biological resources," according to its website.

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“We know that many researchers, regulatory agencies, Native American tribes and other partners trust us to care for their aquatic species,” the university statement read. “We will work hard to earn that trust by conducting a thorough review of our facilities, holding ourselves accountable for what happened, and taking steps to prevent it from happening ever again.”

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