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Songhua River Suffers Successive Spills
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A river in northeastern province of Heilongjiang poisoned by a huge benzene slick late last year has suffered more than 130 spills since then, a rate of one every two or three days, the Xinhua News Agency said.


A chemical plant blast in November, initially covered up, dumped 100 tons of benzene into the Songhua River, leading to the shutdown of water supplies to millions of people downstream and sparking concern in neighboring Russia.


"The frequent pollution accidents result from the irrational distribution of industrial enterprises," Xinhua said, quoting a State Environmental Protection Administration official as saying.


The state run Economic Daily on Monday added that the government would inspect factories along the river and close offenders.


Last month, a ship carrying more than 200 tons of sulphuric acid ran aground near the eastern city of Hangzhou, leaking chemicals into an ancient canal.


(China Daily September 11, 2006)

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