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. Company Accused Of Releasing Chemicals Into Chinese River

Industrial pollution of China's waterways have been in the spotlight since a chemical factory explosion in the northeastern province of Jilin last year released 100 tonnes of benzene and nitrobenzene into the Songhua river. Copyright AFP.
by Staff Writers
Beijing, China (AFP) Feb 13, 2006
A chemical company in northwest China's Shaanxi province leaked thousands of tonnes of potentially toxic waste into a river without telling the authorities, state media and officials said Monday.

Three tanks burst at the Shaanxi Jintai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co., releasing more than 2,000 tonnes of waste-water over a 16-hour period beginning on the evening of February 4, the Beijing News reported.

The company stopped production as it noticed the chemicals spilling into the Wuding river, but did nothing to alert the local authorities, according to the paper.

The environmental protection bureau in Mizhi city two kilometers (one mile) away knew nothing about the spill until local residents reported it at around midday on February 5, the paper said.

"We still don't know how it's going to affect the environment," an official with the environmental protection bureau in Yulin city, near Mizhi, told AFP by telephone.

It was unclear exactly what chemicals were in the waste-water.

The company denied Monday that any environmental mishap had happened as described in the paper.

"It's not true," a spokesman with the company's sales department told AFP.

Industrial pollution of China's waterways have been in the spotlight since a chemical factory explosion in the northeastern province of Jilin last year released 100 tonnes of benzene and nitrobenzene into the Songhua river.

It was one of China's biggest environmental scares and raised major concerns in Russia as the slick threatened to affect people living on its side of the border.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
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Toxic Slick To Reach Japan In Spring, Russian Officials Warn
Vladivostok, Russia (AFP) Feb 08, 2006
The toxic materials from the slick that oozed into Russia's Amur river from China may reach Japanese shores in spring, officials in Russia's Far East city of Khabarovsk warned Wednesday.

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