Chemical leak victims grow to 101, one dead

(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-01 14:38

The number of victims poisoned by a chemical leak in central China's Hubei Province has increased to 101 with one fatality and two in severe condition, Xinhua news agency reported today.

Police are still searching for the truck and the driver who ran away after the accident site, the report said.

The truck, allegedly owned by a chemical plant in Zibo City, Shandong Province, was transporting dimethyl sulfate across Xiaogan City, Hubei Province. Around 8pm on Monday, the truck began to leak, the report said.

The dimethyl sulfate, a substance that is used to produce industrial dyes and pesticides, can be corrosive and irritative to human skin, eyes and the upper respiratory tract.

The victims showed symptoms of eye irritation and difficulty breathing after the incident, the report said, citing the local hospital.

Traffic at the scene has returned to normal and no new victims have been reported till 8am today, Xinhua said.

Local police have already identified the truck and its license plate, and a search is underway, the report said.

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