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2 arrested in chemical warehouse fire investigation
Latest Updated by 2006-05-15 09:45:37
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Police have arrested two people in connection with a chemical warehouse fire that forced 16,000 people to evacuate their homes in southern China's Guangzhou city Wednesday night.

A tenant and a warehouse guard are accused of violating safety regulations by moving and storing dangerous chemicals in the rain, and they were arrested by the Tianhe branch of the Municipal Public Security Bureau of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

The chemicals were identified as 35 tons of hydro sulfurous sodium, and 500 kilograms of potassium permanganate, methyl methacrylate, and raw materials for detergent, according to the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Work Safety.

The investigation showed a company called Rui Xing Tai unloaded 35 tons of hydrosulfurous sodium to the warehouse in Daguan Road in Tianhe District, at about 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday when it was raining.

The hydrosulfurous sodium self-ignited when the rain made it damp, and one third of the chemical was destroyed in the fire, which was extinguished at midnight.

The bureau is investigating Rui Xing Tai and said the company could face prosecution.

About 10,000 college students were among the 16,000 forced to evacuate their residences on the evening. They were allowed to return Thursday morning, after environmental protection authorities declared that the air quality had returned to normal.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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