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Citizen sues China petroleum for polluting river
Updated: 2005-11-25 22:04

A Harbin citizen filed a lawsuit against the subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), which is held accountable for polluting Songhua River, the city's major water source, here Thursday.

The plaintiff, named Ding Ning, accused CNPC's subsidiary, Jilin Petrochemical Company, of contaminating the river and greatly affecting the normal life of Harbin residents. He has brought the lawsuit to the people's court of Nangang District of Harbin.

Ding asked for a compensation of 15 yuan (less than two dollars) and a formal apology from major newspapers from the corporation.

Ding told Xinhua that the normal life of local citizens was interrupted by the sudden water cutoff and many of them rushed to stockpile bottled water. Schools are suspended and hotels have stopped operation temporally, he added.

"A formal apology would be valued by me and my fellow residents," Ding said, "while the monetary compensation is only symbolic".

Deputy general manager of CNPC, Zeng Yukang, has apologized openly for the polluting the Songhua River Thursday, but Ding insisted that an apology after the adjudication of the court is more than necessary.

The river pollution is caused by a blast in a chemical plant under the CNPC subsidiary, which is located in Jilin, a city about 200 kilometers (120 miles) southeast of Harbin, on November 13.

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