110 sickened by contaminated tap water

Updated: 2011-08-10 09:14


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RUICHANG, Jiangxi - A total of 110 people have been hospitalized Tuesday after drinking tap water with excessive levels of copper and chlorine in East China's Jiangxi province, said hospital sources.

The victims were workers at a construction site in an industrial park in the city of Ruichang and nearby residents, said an official with the city's health inspection institute.

The poisoned people have showed symptoms of indigestion, nausea and vomiting, said the official.

The victims, aged one to 73, were receiving treatments in the Ruichang City People's Hospital and Ruichang Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

"At 5 am, I made porridge with the water, but found the water was not clean and a bit of salty," He Xixiang, one of the victims, told Xinhua in the people's hospital.

She said about 10 minutes after she and her husband ate the porridge, they began suffering vomiting and diarrhea.

Doctors with the two hospitals said most victims were in a stable condition, while several others had abnormal liver and kidney test results.

A preliminary investigation found excessive levels of copper and chlorine in the tap water, and the contamination might have occurred at two points in the water pipeline network of a copper plant.

The local government has shut down the pipelines and transported clean water to the construction sites and nearby homes, according to the government's information office.