FRANKFURT, West Germany — A poisonous chemical spill in the Rhine River that has killed half a million fish, deprived towns of water supplies and stirred fears of long-term damage reached the central Netherlands Monday.
Jan Essing of the Dutch water monitoring service said the highest concentration of toxic waste was passing the central Dutch town of Gorinchem and will soon reach the North Sea through Rotterdam.
He said the scheme to block off side rivers and divert the bulk of the pollution along the quickest route to the sea has worked successfully so far.
French officials plan decrees against catching Rhine River fish for the next six months because of the spill Nov. 1 during an industrial fire in Basel, Switzerland.
In Brussels, the European Common Market's environment commissioner requested an urgent meeting of government ministers later this month to evaluate the consequences and "deal with the immediate crisis."