Residents of Pozo Almonte, Chile awoke to an ominous purple cloud hanging low over their city Sunday morning.
Citizens were alarmed by the mysterious cloud and lodged numerous complaints to local officials, who began an investigation.
Photos of the mysterious vapor posted on Twitter show the purple fog stretching across the skyline above homes and businesses.
Officials in Chile claim the cloud was caused by a pump failure at the Cala Cala mine owned by the Saltpetre and Iodine Company which allowed for iodine vapor to seep out. Iodine turns purple when it is heated to a gaseous state.
“We are carrying out an inspection, which tells us that this incident was due to the failure of a motor of the impeller pump,” Christian Ibanez, deputy head of Chile’s Tarapaca Region told The Sun.
Tarapaca Region representative Daniel Quinteros claimed that no medical issues associated with the cloud had been reported.
“We are also in contact with the Superintendency of Environment so that tomorrow we can evaluate the filing of a complaint for non-compliance with the regulations and the commitments made by the company in environmental matters,” said Quinteros.
Officials remained on-site monitoring the cloud for 48 hours.