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Wastewater tank poison kills 4 Zhejiang workers

By Bob Yang (Shanghai Daily)

08:42, June 11, 2012

Four workers were poisoned to death when cleaning a wastewater tank in east China's Zhejiang Province, officials said yesterday.

The tragedy occurred on Saturday, when a staffer at the Jinluoma Industry Development Co in Dongyang City surnamed Tu dropped into an electroplating wastewater tank to do cleaning, the city government said. His colleague, an electrician surnamed Peng, found Tu lying unconscious and asked four more people, including the head of the factory and a manager, to help.

But the five who went into the tank also were soon overcome. Police and firefighters arrived to find all six people lying unconscious in the tank. Police found the tank contained industrial electroplating wastewater that included highly toxic cyanide, the government said.

About 20 police officers and firefighters rescued the six and sent them to a hospital, but three died soon after. Another was confirmed dead yesterday. The other two staffers are in stable condition.

None of the nine rescuers has poisoning symptoms.

The city said it was investigating and had already punished company officials.

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