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March 18, 2011

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Rescue vehicle stirs false radiation fears

A NUCLEAR and chemical rescue vehicle that aroused widespread attention, and even some panic, after appearing at a local university last weekend following the Japan earthquake, turned out to be a public vehicle used for private purposes.

The driver, an employee with the city's civil defense authorities, drove the vehicle to Shanghai Ocean University's suburban Lingang campus to visit his child last Sunday, university officials said yesterday.

The Baoshan District Civil Defense Bureau's chemical rescue station has punished the employee and pledged to improve the administration of public vehicles.

The man did not have authorization to use it for personal use.

The red vehicle features white Chinese characters reading "Nuclear and Chemical Rescue."

The driver entered the campus about 8am and left about one hour later last Sunday. Some students took a picture of the vehicle and uploaded it onto microblogs and other social network websites.

The posts soon became popular with people guessing city environmental authorities dispatched the car to monitor air quality after the disaster in Japan.

Some worried the city had already been exposed to radiation after the quake and tsunami seriously damaged a nuclear power plant in Japan on March 11. Some parents even felt the campus was unsafe and asked their children to leave immediately.

However, city authorities said they did not send the car to the campus and added that local air quality has not been affected by Japan's quake-triggered nuclear crisis.


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