Chem­i­cal leak that sick­ened 52 in China nearly cleaned up

Malta Independent - - World -

A chem­i­cal leak that sick­ened 52 peo­ple this week has nearly been cleaned up at a wharf in eastern China, au­thor­i­ties said Fri­day. In­ves­ti­ga­tors said around 7 tons of the com­mon ad­di­tive C9 leaked while work­ers were load­ing bar­rels onto a ship last Sun­day in Fu­jian province. The province’s Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion said the vic­tims dis­played symp­toms in­clud­ing dizzi­ness, nau­sea, vom­it­ing and throat dis­com­fort. Ten peo­ple re­mained hos­pi­tal­ized un­der ob­ser­va­tion. The state­ment said wa­ter clean-up op­er­a­tions had largely con­cluded by Thurs­day af­ter­noon, but me­dia re­ports cited res­i­dents as say­ing that a foul and pun­gent odor re­mained in the air near the wharf, caus­ing sore throats and dizzy spells. In­dus­trial ac­ci­dents oc­cur fre­quently in China, where in­dus­try and man­u­fac­tur­ing are key driv­ers of the econ­omy. In the dead­li­est re­cent in­ci­dent, an ex­plo­sion in 2015 traced to im­prop­erly stored chem­i­cals killed at least 173 peo­ple in the port city of Tian­jin, about an hour east of Bei­jing. C9 is an aro­matic hy­dro­car­bon with a strong odor and color rang­ing from dark brown to dark yel­low. It is used mainly in print­ing inks, ad­he­sives, sealants, paints and the treat­ment of rub­ber and con­crete com­pounds.

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