China Hid News of Chemical Spill After Earthquake

March 18, 2009 2:10 am Last Updated: October 1, 2015 10:03 pm

Contrary to regime announcements that water was safe to drink following the Sichuan earthquake last year, a huge chemical spill contaminated drinking water.  (The Epoch Times)
Contrary to regime announcements that water was safe to drink following the Sichuan earthquake last year, a huge chemical spill contaminated drinking water. (The Epoch Times)
A recent report in Chinese media inadvertently revealed that the communist regime had been hiding a toxic chemical spill that occurred after the Sichuan earthquake. The regime had told earthquake victims that the water was safe during the devastating earthquake on May 12, 2008, despite there being reports that the water was contaminated with benzene.

An article titled Dujiangyan Launches Bacteriological War Against Benzene Pollution Caused by Earthquake was published by Sichuan News Net on March 12, 2009. According to the article, the Dujiangyan Environmental Protection Bureau in Sichuan Province confirmed that the Chuanxi Chemical Plant in Chengdu City leaked about 600 kilograms of benzene during the devastating earthquake last May.

“To completely clear the benzene pollution, the Dujiangyan Environmental Protection Bureau is planning to use biodegradable technology. They are going to cultivate bacteria to deal with the 7500 cubic meters of soil contaminated with benzene. It is said that the bacteria will be the first treatment for the serious environmental pollution caused by the earthquake approved by the relevant department of the country,” according to the article.

Also revealed in the article was the origin of the chemical leak—the tanks of crude benzol, buried underground, that were damaged by the earthquake. About 600 kilograms of toxic chemicals, mainly benzene, dimethyl benzene, and toluene leaked. The company reported the dangerous situation to the authorities immediately.

Original Story Claimed No Pollution

However, the regime’s mouthpiece Sichuan Daily published an article three days after the earthquake, on May 15, 2008, denying the incident caused the water to be polluted. At the same time, they accused people of having ulterior motives in spreading rumors.

The Sichuan Daily article wrote, “Meanwhile, the Chengdu Command Center of Earthquake Disaster Relief released the news through the radio and television to the public. According to the joint monitoring and investigation by the city environmental protection departments, Chengdu and its surrounding regions did not have any toxic liquid leakages or any explosions. Chengdu City has sufficient water supplies. The quality of water is safe and the water supply is normal. It’s safe for citizens to consume the water.”

The Sichuan Daily article also said, “It is said that the authorities are starting to investigate the rumors and will severely punish rumormongers.”

Read the original article in Chinese.