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Villagers return home after gas leak in Chinese city
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21:09, May 20, 2009

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More than 1,000 villagers who were evacuated Tuesday following a gas well leak in Deyang City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, returned home Wednesday.

The leak was sealed and the well is working normally, said Hu Huangui, chief of the emergency response office of Deyang City.

The natural gas leak occurred in a gas well that was being constructed at the Xinchang Oil field at about 7 p.m. Tuesday. The well and oil field are owned by Southwest Oil and Gas Field Company, a branch of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Evacuees were all villagers living about one kilometer away from the gas well. No one was injured and everyone was put up in hotels for the night by the local government, according to Hu.

A traffic ban was imposed in a three-kilometer area around the gas well, and power and gas were temporarily suspended as were cell phone signals in an effort to prevent an explosion or fire.

Liao Yanchong, a 62-year-old resident from Wenquan Village said, "there was a gush of gas and it smelled really bad."

Liao said officials evacuated him and other villagers about half a hour after the gas leak began. They returned home at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Source: Xinhua

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