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Deadly ammonia spill is 'under control'

AUTHORITIES in a city in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region said yesterday that a 10-ton liquid ammonia leak that has killed one person and injured another two was under control.

The leak, in Hechi City in the southern Chinese region, occurred when a pipe burst during repair work at Hechi Chemical Group on Friday, China News Service reported yesterday.

One of the injured is still in critical condition, the report said.

Fire brigades sprayed water to dilute the volume of the leaked chemical as exposure to very high concentrations of ammonia gas can result in lung damage and death.

But part of the contaminated water was later poured into the nearby Longjiang River, causing hundreds of fish in the river to die, the report said.

The city's environmental body said the river water tested normal after a local hydroelectric power station opened sluices to release stored water to wash away the pollution, the report said.

The chemical leak in Hechi was the latest in a string of accidents in recent months. In April, a hydrofluoric acid leak killed one worker and caused a major highway in Zhejiang Province to be shut down for 10 hours after an accident involving a chemical truck.


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