Hundreds left sick after Ningbo chlorine leak

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am

Hundreds of people have been left sickened by a chlorine gas leak at a chemical plant in the eastern city of Ningbo after the company responsible failed to inform the government about the accident, according to reports.

More than 200 people in a village near the plant had shown symptoms of poisoning, such as coughing, dizziness and throat irritation, since the weekend. More than 100 went to hospital, some with loss of feeling in their arms and legs, a local newspaper said.

A spokesman for the Daxie Industrial Park, where the plant is located, said the authorities had shut down state-owned Ningbo Donggang Electrochemical, which makes chlorine alkali products. The company had failed to inform the government about the mishap, which occurred last Wednesday.

'Some villagers told us about the accident a few days after it happened. We have reported it to the city government and will inform the State Council,' the spokesman said, adding that most of the villagers treated in hospital had returned home.