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Well water sickens over 100 Beijing students
Updated: 2005-12-18 15:07

More than 100 students at a suburban Beijing vocational school were hospitalized after being exposed to contaminated well water, state media said Sunday

Some 113 students from the Fangshan District Community Service and Vocational School in southwestern Beijing had been hospitalized for diarrhea and vomiting since Tuesday, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Forty-three students remained in the hospital Sunday and 70 had been discharged, the paper said.

Investigators believe polluted well water that fed the student dormitory and was used for showers and tooth brushing was to blame for the illnesses, the paper said.

High levels of ammonium nitrate and nitric acid were found in the well water, the paper said. It did not say how the pollution got into the well water. The dormitory's drinking water was not affected, it said.

The paper did not give the age of the students.

A man who answered the phone at the local Fangshan Education Department but who declined to give his name said the school was a high school, with students ranging from 16 to 18 years old.

He said he had no details about the case and referred calls to the local health bureau, where the phone rang unanswered. The school's number was not listed.

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