479 Poisoned After Ammonia Leak in China

By Jinghui Chen
Jinghui Chen
Jinghui Chen
October 24, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
The Honghu Deyan Aquatic Product Company in Honghu City in Hubei Province, China. (Weibo)
The Honghu Deyan Aquatic Product Company in Honghu City in Hubei Province, China. (Weibo)

An ammonia gas leak at an aquaculture firm in northern China sickened 479 people late on Monday night, The Epoch Times has learned.

The poisoned workers were sent to several hospitals in Hubei Province’s Honghu City, with 20 remaining hospitalized. 

An employee surnamed Li of the Honghu Deyan Aquatic Product Company told The Epoch Times in a telephone interview that the ammonia gas leak was due to failure of the firm’s refrigerating system. Two of the employees were severely poisoned, Li said. 

The leak affected workers working night shifts at the company and 2,000 employees who were living at the company-owned dorm.

The refrigeration leak is now controlled and the leakages are fixed, Li added.

A doctor at the Honghu Municipal First People’s Hospital, also surnamed Li, told The Epoch Times that her hospital, which took in around 200 victims, admitted a firefighter who was unconscious and would have to be sent to another hospital for more extensive treatment.

The leak also prompted the evacuation of around 1,000 people, state-run media reported. Most who were not severely poisoned were discharged after medical treatment, state media said.

Local authorities forced the aquaculture firm to suspend operations for several hours, but allowed the company to start up again late on Tuesday, reported The Global Times, which is a state-run newspaper operated by the People’s Daily, a Communist Party mouthpiece.

The incident is currently under investigation.

Read the original Chinese article


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