Friday, June 17, 2011

Toxic chemical leak in central China kills hundreds of animals - 17th June 2011

A truck leaking a toxic chemical in a central China county has caused the deaths of hundreds of livestock and poultry and polluted hundreds of square meters of nearby forests, local authorities said Friday.

Toxic silicon tetrachloride leaked out of the truck's storage tank at about 3 a.m. Friday in the village of Ximo'an, which is located in Puyang County in central China's Henan Province, according to county government authorities.

The silicon tetrachloride reacted with oxygen and released dense clouds of hydrogen chloride after being exposed to the air. The clouds diffused around several square kilometers, killing twenty pigs and dozens of chickens on a nearby farm and sickening several of the village's residents.

The poisoned residents were evacuated by the local government's rescue team.

Firefighters took measures to stop the spread of the chemical, diluting contaminated water to neutralize the reaction.

The leak did not result in any human deaths. The cause of the leak is under investigation. Source