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Around a half a million dollars' worth of exotic fish imported for the launch of an aquarium project were reported to have died at a customs station in the Russian city of Sochi.

The containers, holding more than 4,000 fish, apparently stood out in the summer sun for more than 14 hours.

The creatures had been shipped from China and were intended for a giant, newly built aquarium in the city.

The aquarium's administrators said the tragedy inflicted damages of nearly $500,000.

The official opening of the "Sochi Discovery World Aquarium" is planned for the second half of September. No confirmation on reports of a name change to "Sochi Discovery World Baths."

-- RFE/RL's Russian Service

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