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Hospital Cases After Toxic Fire In Ukraine Up To 143

The train wreck sparked a toxic phosphorus fire (epa) July 19, 2007 -- The number of people hospitalized following a spill of highly toxic phosphorus in western Ukraine has reached 143, including 43 children.

But officials repeated assurances that there was no widespread danger to local residents after the train derailed in the Lviv region on July 16, sparking a fire and releasing a toxic cloud.

Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk said on July 18 that the area is safe for inhabitants, and that people in the area can safely breathe the air, drink water from the wells, harvest crops, and swim in the rivers.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, meanwhile, criticized the government of his rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, for allegedly trying to minimize the continuing health threat from the accident.

(Compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

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