Quanzhou chemical spill nearly 10 times worse than initially reported

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/25 21:28:40

The water in Quangang, East China's Fujian Province is contaminated with pollutants after a vessel spilled nearly 7 tons of C9 aromatics over the weekend.Photo: IC



The government of Quanzhou in East China's Fujian Province on Sunday released a report on a recent chemical spill incident, exposing that the actual leak of C9 aromatics  was 69.1 tons, nearly 10 times higher than the initially released figure of "6.97 tons."

Having colluded to conceal the actually leak amount, a number of officials of Quangang district as well as the port where the incident took place on November 3, have been suspended from their posts, according to the report.

The suspended officials include Chen Xiangcheng, a member of the district Party committee, and Zhu Huiyang, the head of the district transport bureau.

The accident occurred when the tube connecting a vessel codenamed Tiantong 1, which is run by the Ningbo Zhoushan Tongzhou Shipping Company, and the Donggang Petrochemical Corporation-administrated wharf in Quangang broke on November 3, around 4 pm, according to the government report.

The figure of "6.97 tons" was first released by the Donggang Petrochemical Corporation, under the direction of the company's legal representative, whose surname is Huang. Such figure was later released to the public as an agreement reached by the vessel captain and the company side.

The Quanzhou government has since established a special medical squad to handle local residents who were exposed to the leaked chemical. A total of 69 residents have been received by the team, 11 of which were hospitalized for treatment. All patients were discharged by November 16.

The air quality in the surrounding areas returned to normal by November 5, and the waters were assessed as "moderately polluted" on November 6 and 7, and have returned to Level I and II at present.

China classifies water quality into six levels, ranging from level I, which is suitable for drinking after minimal treatment, to level VI for water that is severely contaminated.

Donggang Petrochemical Corporation has been suspended from doing business for rectification, and seven company employees including Huang and four operators on the vessel, have been arrested by the local police.

Global Times



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