Fu­jian chem­i­cal leak sick­ens 52 res­i­dents

Global Times US Edition - - TOPNEWS - By Liu Caiyu

A Chem­i­cal leak in Quanzhou, East China’s Fu­jian Prov­ince has sent at least 52 res­i­dents to hos­pi­tals and caused a panic pur­chase of salt in nearby cities after some seven tons of C9 aro­mat­ics were spilled over the week­end.

C9 is a type of aro­matic hy­dro­car­bon resin chem­i­cally man­u­fac­tured from oil. It is typ­i­cally used to pro­duce ad­he­sives, print­ing ink and paint, and is toxic to hu­mans.

By 5 pm Thurs­day, the Quan­gang district hos­pi­tal in Quanzhou has re­ceived 52 pa­tients who might have been ex­posed to the chem­i­cal. Ten peo­ple have been hos­pi­tal­ized, in­clud­ing one per­son who nearly drowned in the pol­luted wa­ter and was later taken into in­ten­sive care, the lo­cal govern­ment an­nounced on Thurs­day.

A staff mem­ber of the govern­ment of Quan­gang district told the Global Times that some lo­cals were sent to hos­pi­tals but could not say whether their con­di­tions were re­lated to the con­tam­i­na­tion. “The chem­i­cals have been cleaned up, but residue re­mained in some sec­tions of the wa­ter, which will take a long time to clean,” the govern­ment staff mem­ber said.

The leak took place at 1:14 am early Sun­day when the tube con­nect­ing a ves­sel and the wharf broke, leak­ing 6.97 tons of C9 aro­mat­ics in the wa­ter, Beijing Youth Daily re­ported.

The lo­cal author­ity an­nounced it had cleaned up the wa­ters on Mon­day. How­ever, some lo­cals told the Global Times that a foul and pun­gent odor re­mained in the air near the wharf, caus­ing many to have sore throat and dizzy spells.

The nearby Shanyao Salt Plant, claimed to be the se­cond na­tional salt farm in Fu­jian Prov­ince, con­firmed to the Global Times on Thurs­day that they had stopped tak­ing in sea­wa­ter since hear­ing of the in­ci­dent on Sun­day.

How­ever, a res­i­dent of Fu­jian’s Longyan, a city near Quanzhou, told the Global Times on Thurs­day that su­per­mar­ket salt shelves were emp­tied as res­i­dents scoured for salt in the wake of the in­ci­dent. To en­sure safety, the lo­cal agri­cul­ture and forestry bureau on Sun­day urged the pub­lic not to catch, sell or eat seafood from Xiaocuo vil­lage in Quanzhou, China News Ser­vice re­ported.

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