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Park Service reopens Indiana beaches after cyanide spill

Photo courtesy NPS

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — The National Park Service has reopened beaches in northwestern Indiana, more than a week after a spill of cyanide and ammonia from a steel factory along Lake Michigan.

The agency says three consecutive days of tests have been positive, including two days with no detection of cyanide. The government says samples were taken by Indiana environmental regulators and ArcelorMittal and reviewed by independent labs.

The Park Service had closed the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk beach areas at Indiana Dunes National Park. Fish were killed.

ArcelorMittal says the spill occurred after its Burns Harbor mill had a failure at a blast furnace water recirculation system. Wastewater containing elevated levels of ammonia and cyanide was released in the Little Calumet River's east branch. The company has apologized.

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