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Fire At Russian Factory Kills One

23 November 2005 -- A fire at a chemical factory in the central Russian city of Voronezh today killed one person and injured two others.

The fire at the Voronezh synthetic rubber plant broke out early today and was extinguished three hours later. Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation.

Emergency officials expressed concern that harmful chemical fumes may have been released in the fire but authorities said there were no early reports of environment pollution.

Also on 23 November, concern was growing in Russia over the pollution threat in the Russian city of Khabarovsk near the border with China after the explosion ten days ago at a chemical plant in China's Jilin province.

The 13 November explosion left the Songhua river -- a tributary of the Amur -- polluted with benzene, a toxic, flammable liquid.

Russian authorities today said they were monitoring the situation but that so far, Amur water samples have not shownevidence of pollution.