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March 21, 2011

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Home » Metro » Environment

Sinopec blamed for Pudong pong

ENVIRONMENTAL watchdogs have blamed Sinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical Corp for the pungent fumes that spread through many districts of the city yesterday afternoon.

According to a preliminary investigation, the foul-smelling air coming from Gaoqiao Petrochemical in the Pudong New Area included certain types of sulfide, such as hydrogen sulfide, said Chen Wei, an official of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. But it shouldn't impact on people's health due to its low density.

Around noon, local police began receiving reports from residents about the smell. By 7pm, they had received 93 calls from residents in 12 districts, including Pudong, Huangpu, Luwan, Jing'an and Xuhui. Calls were still coming in last night.

People living in Pudong New Area were among the first to report the strange odor. Some residents said online they felt discomfort after inhaling the fumes.

Many people worried whether the fumes could be harmful, speculating whether it was related to radiation from Japan or chemicals from local plants.

The Shanghai Health Bureau said it hasn't received any reports of anyone becoming ill and requiring hospital treatment as a result of the fumes.

It is not the first time that pungent fumes have been detected coming from Gaoqiao Petrochemical.

On November 23 last year, there was a gas leak containing toxic ethanethiol there. The smell spread across the city's Pudong New Area and Yangpu and Hongkou districts. The city government later said it was not harmful to people's health.

Earlier, on May 9 last year, two massive explosions and an ensuing fire with towering flames ripped through an oil refinery owned by the company in the Pudong New Area.


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