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July 21, 2009

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Families evacuated in chemical leak

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

Firefighters spent three hours transferring the acid from the factory in Beibei District, reported yesterday.

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

An area within 100 meters was enveloped in smoke by 6:20am when firefighters arrived, the report said. The leaking tank contained nearly 1 ton of the chemical.

A hole the size of a table tennis ball was found in the tank. Firefighters poured the chemical into a tanker vehicle and added nearly 5 tons of water to the tank to dilute the acid. Sixteen tons of hydrochloric acid remain inside the abandoned chemical factory.

An aging tank caused the leakage, according to the Chongqing-based Website.


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