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   Two cargo ships collide on Yangtze River, one with chemicals sinks

    Sunday 1 November 2009

www.chinaview.cn 2009-11-01 15:41:00 GMT+0100

WUHAN, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) — Local government is working on plans to contain and retrieve industrial chemicals sunken on a section of the Yangtze River in central China’s Hubei Province after two cargo ships collided early Sunday, local officials said.

The collision left one ship, registered in eastern Jiangxi Province, sinking. The ship was carrying 100 tonnes of hydrochloric acid for industrial use when it collided with another cargo ship in the Xishan water area of the Ezhou section of the Yangtze, China’s longest waterway due to strong winds.

Crew members aboard the sunken ship were saved after the accident.

A test of the water three kilometers in radius around the accident scene showed that the pH level was between 7.5 to 8.0, within the normal range, according to an official with the Hubei Provincial Environmental Protection Department.

He said the department had located the sunken chemicals and were trying to retrieve it. The whole process is expected to finish Monday morning.

"We are paying close attention to the water quality in this area," the official said.

Hydrochloric acid for industrial uses, a yellowish substance, was strongly corrosive.

Editor: Chris

See online : Xinhua