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January 26, 2013

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Toxic leak that shut water plant results in arrest of 6

SIX people were arrested by local prosecutors yesterday over a chemical leak that tainted a creek and the tap water supply of a local water plant in Jinshan District this month.

The pollution was caused by an illegal discharge of C9, a petrochemical containing benzene compounds, including styrene, at a dock on January 10, prosecutors said. The chemicals went into Jueshigang Creek due to a leaky valve on a chemical transport boat during loading.

The six suspects, who were not identified, were arrested on charges of causing a crime with dangerous goods.

Prosecutors said Shanghai Jinwei Chemical Co signed a contract to sell 500 tons of C9 to Ningbo Gangtai Fuel Co on December 21. The Ningbo company signed another contract with Nanjing Dragon and Phoenix Chemical Co to resell 500 tons of C9 on December 24.

After the contracts were signed, the representative of the Nanjing company, surnamed Wang, contacted the operator of the dock on Jueshigang Creek and said he would send a boat to load the chemicals.

The general manager of the Shanghai company, surnamed Xi, contacted a logistics company to send tanks to carry the C9 to the dock.

Workers on the boat were unaware of the leaky valve. The plant was shut down the next day for three days.


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