CHINA> Regional
2 officials sacked over tap water scare
Updated: 2009-03-04 18:34

NANJING  -- Seven officials have been punished over a water contamination incident in east China's Yancheng City on February 20, according to the city government on Wednesday.

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Two environmental officials in Yandu District, where more than 200,000 residents were deprived of tap water following the contamination, were removed from their posts, according to a government circular.

The water was turned off after a chemical factory illegally dumped the disinfectant phenol -- which is used in the production of resins, plastics and pharmaceuticals -- into the city's water source of Xinyanggang River.

The two officials were Gui Yongyue, director of the bureau, and Zhou Jingxian, deputy head of the bureau.

Five other officials, including those responsible for water source supervision and water affairs, as well as a township official were given administrative and disciplinary punishments, according to the circular.

The city mayor Li Qiang said on Tuesday that all chemical plants near a water source will be dismantled in March.

Based on the city's decision, 33 of the city's 317 chemical plants will be included in the government's order.

Police have detained the legal representative and the manager of the responsible chemical plant, the Biaoxin Chemical Co.

The city's water plant said it will offer free tap water for up to a month to compensate customers for the disruption of water supply.