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Chinese Toxic Slick Nearing Russian City

Workers have been building sandbag dams to help alleviate the damage (file photo) (epa) 21 December 2005 -- The Russian city of Khabarovsk is bracing for the arrival of a chemical spill after a massive leak of toxic benzene upstream in China.

Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry is quoted by the RIA-Novosti news agency as saying the spill in the Amur River was less than 30 kilometers from the city. The ministry said it expects the spill to reach the city later tonight local time.

Chinese and Russian workers have been working nonstop to complete two dams made up of sandbags to protect the city.

The spill was caused by an explosion at a Chinese chemical factory last month.


Chinese Chemical Spill

Chinese Chemical Spill

A slick of toxic benzene and other chemicals is moving from China's Songhua River toward the Amur River in Russia's Far East. Russian authorities fear the consequences when the 80-kilometer-long toxic slick reaches the city of Khabarovsk, which relies on the Amur for its water supply.

Officials say supplies of clean water and filtering charcoal are being stockpiled in Khabarovsk. Russian authorities have warned that more than 1 million people living along the Amur could be affected by the contaminants. The spill is the result of an explosion on November 13, 2005, at a Chinese chemical plant in the city of Jilin....(more)

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After Chinese Toxic Spill, Russian Environmentalists Raise Concerns About Ecological Policy