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Schools Evacuated In Russian Province Following Chemical Leak

CHELYABINSK, Russia -- Schools and kindergartens in the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk were evacuated on September 1 following a chemical leak from a freight car, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Local officials said about 10 five-liter glass containers of bromine were damaged and the contents began evaporating.

Bromine is a corrosive, toxic chemical that at room temperature emits a gas which irritates the mucous membranes. It is normally transported in lead-lined steel tanks.

Some 100 local residents sought medical treatment for symptoms of poisoning, and eight of them were hospitalized. The freight car has been removed outside the city limits.

Local authorities insist the leakage does not pose any danger to public health.

Read more in Russian here and here