ALMOST 500 fish were found dead in a stretch of the River Colne.

Environment Agency officers were called to the river near Station Road in Earls Colne, behind the industrial estate, on Sunday afternoon.

 At this stage the cause of the deaths of the fish, of which 40 were adults and the rest were babies, is unknown.

The officers have been monitored the river between Sunday and Tuesday and said there was no risk to humans or any other animals.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Based on a survey on Tuesday morning, we are confident that there will be no further fish deaths.

“We are now investigating the cause of the deaths, and have sent dead fish to our labs for analysis.”

The results are expected to take about a week.

In June last year the same stretch of river was affected after thousands of litres of pesticide spilled into Toppesfield Brook and affected 10km of the River Colne.

Thousands of fish were thought to have died and a further 8,000 were rescued.

Fish were reintroduced into the river in December last year.