Tropical storm threatens Chinese chemical plant

Last Updated: Monday, August 8, 2011 - 18:05

Beijing: China on Monday temporarily averted a
major chemical disaster when it blocked breaches to a dike at
a chemical plant in the its northeast coast battered by
powerful sea waves from an approaching tropical storm.

The dike breached by powerful waves earlier today has
been temporarily blocked after workers dumped trucks of rocks
and concrete to repair the breach, officials said.

The breach has sparked fears of a toxic spill from a
petrochemical plant located behind the dike.

Twenty-meter-high waves, spawned by tropical storm Muifa
off the coast of north Liaoning Province, broke a dike in the
Jinshan Industrial Zone in the city of Dalian this morning,
threatening to hit the Fujia chemical plant just 50 meters
behind the dike, a spokesman with the emergency response
headquarters said.

The two breaches, which measured at least 20 to 30 meters
long each, have been temporarily blocked, but workers still
fear that the strong waves might wash away the loosely piled
rocks and breach the dike again, he said.

Trucks are still dumping rocks and concrete to make the
newly repaired parts solid, official Xinhua news agency quoted
him as saying.

Authorities have not specified which chemicals may be a
risk of leaking from the plant.

The Fujia chemical plant is a producer of paraxylene, a
petrochemical used to create raw materials for the production
of polyester film and fabrics. The chemical is carcinogenic.

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 8, 2011 - 18:05

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