China links with Russia to combat toxic spill
Updated: 2005-12-08 10:52
cooperating with Russia to tackle a toxic benzene slick moving through northeastern
China towards the Siberian city of Khabarovsk, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said.
"We have informed the Russian side and supplied technical aid and
necessary equipment. We are maintaining contact and close cooperation with the
Russian side," Wen told reporters during a visit to the Slovakian capital of
"We have already taken effective measures, such as the reinforcement of
monitoring and the river's warning system. We are also going to take effective
steps to eliminate the pollution and assure drinking water for the population."
About 100 tonnes of benzene were spilled into the river after
an explosion at a PetroChina chemical plant on November 13.
Russian officials believe the slick will reach the Amur, which forms the
border between China and Russia above Khabarovsk, on December 15 and then
approach the city towards the end of December.
Due to increasingly icy conditions, the speed of the slick flowing down the
Songhua has slowed to about 20 kilometres (12 miles) a day.
Millions of people in the northeastern Chinese city of
Harbin were without running water for several days after authorities shut down
the public water supply.