Chinese city cuts off water after chemical spill

Last updated 20:48 06/01/2013

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Residents in a northern Chinese city are without water after the local government cut off the supply because of industrial chemicals that contaminated a river.

The Handan city government in Hebei province says it cut off the water on Saturday afternoon (local time) after an accident in neighbouring Shanxi province caused pollutants to pour into a river. It didn't say how many residents were affected. The population of the city and its rural areas is 9 million.

Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday that a loose drainage valve in a chemical plant was to blame for the leaking of nearly 9 tonnes of the chemical aniline into the river. It said another 30 tons of aniline have been contained in a disused reservoir.

Aniline, used in manufacturing polyurethane, can be toxic to humans.

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- AP

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