Chemical leakage taints water supplies for 4,100 in E. China
Updated: 2006-09-22 22:34 BEIJING - Fire engines
were being used to deliver drinking water to more than 4,000 people in an
eastern Chinese village after a chemical factory leaked turpentine into the
local river, state media said Friday.
The leak Thursday at the Songchuan Chemical Co. in Anhui province's Jinzipai
village was blamed on worker negligence, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The report did not say how much turpentine was discharged into the Jindonghe
More than 3,000 residents in the area and 1,100 elementary school students
who attend a school near the river have been warned not to drink the water and
are receiving water from fire trucks, it said.
Many students and residents drank the polluted water before they were
informed of the incident, but there have been no reports so far of poisoning,
Xinhua said, citing the local Qimen county environmental bureau.
A preliminary investigation showed that the plant had not undergone an
environmental assessment and had no production permit when it began test
production three months ago, Xinhua said.
Chronic pollution and chemical accidents have tainted most of China's canals,
rivers and lakes, and the country is suffering from a critical water shortage.
Last month, China said it will spend 1 trillion yuan (US$125 billion; euro100
billion) to improve water treatment and recycling by 2010 to fight the mounting
threat of urban water pollution.