Workers in Jilin City Poisoned By Toxic Gas

May 15, 2009 Updated: May 18, 2009

Thousands of workers from the Jilin Chemical Fiber Co. Ltd. (JCF) are suspected of having been poisoned by gas discharged from Jilin Connell Chemical Corporation since late April.

As of May 13, almost 1,000 people a day have been admitted to hospital for treatment. All the workers show symptoms of dizziness, vomiting, numbness in limbs, and dry throat.

However, the local regime denies this issue and quoting officials from Chinese Ministry of Health, claims it is a large scale “psychological illness”.

The Jilin Municipal regime had also sent about 600 police to block JCF employees from protesting against the so called “psychological illness.”

According to Hong Kong's Mingpao News, a patient’s relative said that the gas did not have an obvious pungent odor and was hard to describe clearly. One patient said, “The gas is basically colorless and tasteless. When you can smell it, you’re done. What’s the smell? At the most serious moment, you will be sick when smelling the odor. It’s kind of a sweet and scented smell.”

A doctor from Jilin Chemical Fiber Hospital told The Epoch Times that there have been JCF workers coming to hospital because of gas poisoning sinceApril 20. Since then, more and more patients have come for treatment. They all have similar symptoms and have problems with their nervous system at first. “The symptoms are dizziness and numbness. Patients tongue sfeel numb, they experience a lack of energy, and an unusual kind of weakness, too weak to walk. The illness will cause the color of the patients’ faces to turn green for a while and then purple, like serious hypoxia.”

The doctor said that not only the nervous system is damaged, but the liver, kidneys, and heart, and patients experience a reduction in leukocytes. He said that in recent days, patients coming to the hospital have reached a peak since May 7.

“About 1,000 people, at least 700 people come to have injections every day. Others don’t come to hospital but stay at home. They probably have no symptom temporarily. About 300 to 400 patients are seriously ill in our city,” he said. 

The doctor also said that patients with minor illness are treated in Jilin Chemical Fiber Hospital, but the seriously ill ones have to stay at the Jilin City Hospital.

Jilin Connell Chemical Corp belongs to Connell Group, which also owns Jilin Connell Pharmaceutical Corp. It is said the group has connections inside the central regime, and that is the reason that the local regime is under pressure to contain the situation.

Read the original article in Chinese