Bromine leakage affects over 150 people

Updated: 2007-09-03 21:42

CHONGQING -- More than 150 people were hospitalized on Monday after inhaling bromine vapour which had leaked from a pharmaceutical factory in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

A total of 158 people went to hospital after 25 kg of bromine leaked from Xinyuanxing Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. in a northern suburb of Chongqing at about 9:30 a.m.

Eighty-eight remained under observation but they are all in a stable condition, doctors said.

Investigators said a porcelain tank containing the chemical smashed on the ground when workers were trying to move it. The toxic chemical then spread to the neighboring clothes factory affecting the workers there, according to an official surnamed Zheng with the municipal government.

Inhaling bromine, which is highly irritating and corrosive, can cause coughs, headaches, chest and abdominal pains, skin allergies and even suffocation.

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