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Chinese city apologises after underestimating severity of chemical leak

The water supply in the neighbouring Handan city is now undrinkable as a result.

File photo
File photo
Image: Old abandoned fifty five gallon via Shutterstock

A CHINESE CITY government has apologized for taking five days to report a chemical leak that has affected another city’s drinking water supply.

Xinhua News Agency says the mayor of Changzhi in northern Shanxi province apologized at a news conference today. He said the polluter had informed the municipal government of the leak on 31 December 2012 but that they had underestimated its severity.

Xinhua says the city was required to report the leak to the provincial environmental authority within two hours.

About nine tons of aniline had leaked into a river and contaminated the water supply in Handan city in neighboring Hebei province by the time the incident became public last Saturday. Xinhua says the water still couldn’t be used today.

The chemical aniline, which used in manufacturing polyurethane, can be toxic to humans.

Read: Seven people hospitalised after chemical incident in Co Clare >

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