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Eels boiled alive in stream

A hot water pipe from Reykjavík Energy Company (OR) burst this week, causing boiling water to flood the stream Fossvogslaekur between Reykjavík and Kópavogur, killing almost 40 eels in a 500-meter-long part of the stream.

A pedestrian noticed the dead animals and contacted the Natural History Museum of Kópavogur (NK). Director of NK Hilmar Malmquist said it is unlikely than any organisms in the stream survived.

“The same goes for invertebrates and larger species. Most species were killed like the eel although you can’t see them with bare eyes, or they’ve been washed to sea,” Malmquist said. “It’s a shame that the eel was killed in that way after a 5,000-kilometer long journey from the Sargasso Sea out of the Gulf of Mexico.”

Gunnar Adalsteinsson, department head of systems operations for OR, said it is difficult to determine the volume of hot water that flooded the stream, but said it had probably been about 40 tons. “Or even more. There was a 10-centimeter rift on a water pipe and water leaked from it for about 30 minutes.”

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