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38 in hospital after gas leak

AT least 38 people have been taken to hospital after a poisonous gas leak yesterday in Zhejiang Province.

County officials have taken immediate measures to deal with the environment, public security and health issues, Xinhua news agency reported.

They completed treating the polluted ground and pollutants early this morning and have taken samples for further examination.

Authorities are monitoring the air quality near the site of accident, officials said.

The leak happened at about 4.30pm when Chen Yongqi, a native of Anhui Province's Suzhou City, was disposing of 100 barrels of iron waste for the Shou'erfu Chemical Co Ltd.

The company had sold the barrels to Chen to dispose of the waste.

Because the barrels were too big to transport, Chen began dismantling the barrels near Yacun Village in Jinyun's Dongdu Town, where the nearest home was a mere 10 meters away.

Poisonous gas began leaking from the barrels, which had contained Benzene, the local environment authority said.

At least 38 workers and villagers were affected and hospitalized.

By 10 this morning, two people remained in hospital.

Police have detained those responsible for the accident, the Xinhua report said.


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