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Chlorine gas tanks to be exploded Sunday morning in SW China
Updated: 2004-04-17 23:38

Authorities have decided to explode the three remaining gas tanks Sunday morning at the accident site of a chlorine leak and explosion in southwest China' s Chongqing Municipality.

So far, the blasts, that occurred Friday afternoon at the Tianyuan Chemical Industry Plant, have left nine people dead and three others injured.

Officials and experts directing the rescue work decided on the explosion plan Saturday evening after they studied the feasibility of four proposals on how to deal with the remaining toxic gas.

Experts said the gas tanks will be exploded by shooting from a distance.

They said there is little chance that the remaining gas will blow up spontaneously Saturday night while being let out.

However, firemen have been stationed near the site in case of accidental blasts.

It is expected that the five tons of gas in the tanks will be reduced after a night's natural release and a low amount of gas content will keep possible risks at a minimum.

Before the explosion, the 20,000-odd residents near the accident site, who were evacuated to safe places, still cannot return home, official sources said.

More than 150,000 residents have been moved out of areas within three kilometers surrounding the plant.

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