Toxic gas leak takes its toll

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 12:00am

Victims of a toxic gas leak are treated in a Fuzhou hospital yesterday. The leak of phosgene at a Chinese Academy of Sciences laboratory in the capital of Fujian province killed one man and put more than 260 people in hospital, Xinhua reported. Phosgene is best known for its extensive use as a chemical weapon during the first world war. It is now commonly used in making plastics, fertiliser and other material. The leak occurred on Tuesday morning after an experiment by a company making environmentally friendly fertiliser, a worker said. Xinhua said 50 of the injured suffered damage to their lungs and one worker was in critical condition. An army chemical warfare team stopped the leak and was checking if any gas remained.