Home>News Center>China

China confirms "major" pollution of river
Updated: 2005-11-23 20:16

China confirmed on Wednesday that an explosion at a petrochemical plant had caused "major pollution" of a river which has led authorities to shut off water supplies in one of its biggest cities for at least four days.

Local citizens buy barrels to store water in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province, November 22, 2005. [Reuters]

China's State Environmental Protection Administration said that the Songhua River had suffered "major water pollution" after the November 13 explosion at the plant upstream, the Xinhua news agency said.

Thick smoke rolls up into the sky after explosions ripple through the Jilin Petroleum and Chemical Company from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, Northeast China's Jilin Province. There are so far no casualties reported while witness said dozens were hospitalized. [Xinhua]

Taps were turned off in Harbin at midnight on Tuesday after two days of panic buying of bottled water and food in a city where winter temperatures regularly drop below minus 20 Celsius.

The explosion happened in neighboring Jilin province only a few hundred yards from the Songhua River, which supplies water to Harbin, a metropolitan area of nine million people. Five people were killed in the blast.

"Pollution is definite," said a regional water official, who declined to give his name. "It has entered the Songhua River and has affected the banks and lower reaches."

The Beijing Times newspaper said the pollutants in the partly frozen river included benzene, an industrial solvent and component of petrol.

An environmental official quoted by Xinhua said the polluted water was expected to reach the stretch of river where Harbin siphons off its drinking water on Wednesday evening and clear the city by Friday afternoon.

"Several major tributaries join the Songhua River on the downstream of Harbin," the official said. "It will help to lessen the degree of pollution."
Page: 12

Water supply cut in Harbin
Chinese actress wins Emmy Awards
Luxury cars at Guangzhou auto show
  Today's Top News     Top China News

CPC not pursuing a road of tyranny - scholar



China confirms "major" pollution of river



China confirmed three new bird flu outbreaks



Ministry denies ordering Japan bullet trains



Japan LDP seeks to lift ban on having military



China may revise 'green card' procedures


  Major river pollution confirmed in northeast China
  Sick teacher in Hunan negative for H5N1: WHO
  China may revise 'green card' procedures
  CPC not pursuing a road of tyranny - scholar
  Protest lodged over Nagoya consulate attack
  China releases list of unsafe coal mines
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.