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3,700 barrels chemical recovered from Songhua River

07-31-2010 09:46 BJT

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Immediately after it was reported that barrels containing chemicals were swept into the Songhua river, eight recovery stations were set up to collect them.

In addition, search crews are working along the Songhua River in Jilin Province to find and retrieve the containers.

From the place where the barrels were carried into the Songhua River to the Heilongjiang border is 120 kilometers.

The local government is trying to ensure no barrels flow out of Jilin. But it is a very challenging task.

Li Hong Liang, Yushu's Deputy Mayor, said, "We are using more than 20 boats to check along the river, so far we have fished out three-thousand barrels. But there is a long way to go. We have more details to check."

The fast current and floating garbage carried away in recent floods, are making the recovery work very difficult.

But one by one, the barrels are being recovered from the river.

Some barrels washed up on the lower banks and even ended up in farmers' fields.

Armed police, soldiers, fishermen and villagers all joined in the recovery work.

Each chemical-filled barrel contains about 170 kilograms of chemicals. If spilled they could be dangerous and hazardous.

Recovery workers say all the containers they fished out are sealed.

In neighboring Heilongjiang Province, 7 barriers were set up along the Songhua River.

65 boats and 400 rescuers are standing by.

Li Zhanshu, Provincial Governor, Heilongjiang, said, "Our measures include recovery boats, and nets to catch the containers. Fishermen and residents were mobilized. Helicopters will be used to detect the barrels."

According to the current flow of the river, the barrels could reach Heilongjiang by Saturday evening.


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