Bromine leakage affects 166 people in Chongqing

Updated: 2007-09-04 11:43

CHONGQING - More than 160 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 166 people went to hospital after 25 kg of bromine leaked from Xinyuanxing Pharmaceutical Co Ltd in the Yubei District, northern suburb of Chongqing, at about 9:30 am.

Ninety-one 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.

"The accident did not affect the lives of nearby residents too much and we are dealing with the aftermath," said Luo Wensheng, director of the Work Safety Bureau of the Yubei District.

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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