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Acid leak forces family evacuations in Chongqing

ABOUT 160 families were evacuated from their homes after 500 kilograms of hydrochloric acid leaked at an abandoned chemical factory this morning in Chongqing Municipality.

Firefighters spent three hours transferring the hydrochloric acid from the factory in Beibei District, a portal Website of the city reported today.

Police were called after a resident detected the strong odor and saw smoke spread throughout the factory.

An area within 100 meters of the factory was enveloped in smoke by 6:20am when firefighters arrived, the report said. The leaky tank contained nearly one ton of the chemical, the report said.

A hole the size of a table tennis ball was found in the tank. Firefighters tried to fill the hole with concrete but the chemical kept scouring it away, according to the report.

Finally they covered the hole with a wet quilt and poured the chemical into a tanker vehicle. Nearly five tons of water was added into the tank to dilute the hydrochloric acid.

Sixteen tons of hydrochloric acid remains inside the abandoned chemical factory. An aging tank caused the leakage, the report said. Most of the chemical was transferred yesterday after the leak.


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