Officials in Chile are investigating the death of thousands of prawns that washed onto a beach Wednesday, turning it red.
The shrimp came ashore in the town of Coronel, about 330 miles south of Santiago.
According to the Associated Press, local fisherman said the Bocamina 1 and 2 power plants, which are owned by regional electricity generator Endesa and Colburn power company's Santa Maria plant have been heating the waters, endangering the prawns living in it. Hundreds of dead crabs washed up in the same area over the weekend.
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"I'm 69 years old and started fishing when I was 9, but as a fisherman, I never saw a disaster of this magnitude," Gregorio Ortega told local Radio Bio Bio.
"We're going to be collecting as much evidence as possible to determine if this is an environmental crime," Ana Maria Aldana, a Chilean prosecutor for environmental crimes, told state television.
Colburn declined to comment on the incident, and an Endesa spokesman said the company was aware of what had happened and would issue a statement later.
Chile's energy-intensive mining industry is in desperate need of more power, with some analysts saying the country will have to triple its capacity in 15 years. Chile imports 97 percent of its fossil fuels and has no domestic oil or natural gas.