AS MANY as a thousand fish have been killed following a freak accident at a whiskey distillery that saw 9,000 barrels of the spirit leak into nearby waterways.
The incident occurred at the Barton 1792 distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky, last Friday, June 22nd when a wall of the facility’s storage warehouse collapsed, state officials have confirmed.
Capable of holding anywhere up to 20,000 stacked barrels at any one time, the warehouse was being repaired when the incident took place. Thankfully, no one was injured.
Each of the 9,000 barrels that broke out as part of the collapse carries around 53 gallons of whiskey each.
According to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, bourbon leaked into the nearby waterways of Withrow Creek and the Beech Fork River as a result of the collapse, leaving up to 1,000 fish dead.
Though the fish killed mostly amounted to minnows, a small amount of catfish, largemouth bass, and other fish were also found.
Several local residents, meanwhile, took to social media to share images from the grim scene of destruction left behind.
Sazerac Inc., the parent company behind the distillery, is now facing a hefty bill of anywhere up to $25,000 per day over their role in the contamination.
The state also intends to reprimand the company for a “failure to report a release and the pollution of waters” with test results from water samples still pending.
Asked by CNN whether the leak is likely to have led to the fish casualties, John Mura, director of communications for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, said: “I think it’s pretty obvious why they died.”