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Over 40 People Hospitalized after Bromine Leak in Chelyabinsk
2.09.2011 12:01
Over 40 People Hospitalized after Bromine Leak in Chelyabinsk

On Thursday over 40 people were hospitalized in and around the Ural city, Chelyabinsk, because of a bromine gas leak. According to Russia's Department of Health, more than 103 people sought medical assistance after the road accident, resulting in several bromine containers leaked in a rail car. The cause of the leak has not been established yet. It forced an evacuation of the Chelyabinsk railway terminal.

      Television and news sites showed pictures of a big dirty yellow cloud billowing over the station. The smog drifted some 20kms, covering several parts of Chelyabinsk, according to press.

      Chelyabinsk's citizens have been warned to stay indoors with closed windows, or wear masks if they need to leave their houses. Day of Knowledge was also cancelled, schools were closed down and pupils were forced to stay at home.

      A relief operation is underway at the station where the accident happened and the leaks have been reportedly been contained for the moment.

      Regional officials said there was no serious risk to people's health. But many experts don't support such opinion. "Bromine is a strong poison, not just an irritant. It really is dangerous," Moscow-based chemist Alexei Korunov said within his interview to state-run Channel One TV station.

      Chelyabinsk is a big industrial city, so it often has environmental problems. This year the city takes 9th place in the list of the most polluted cities in Russia. However, the bromine leak is one of the most deterrent accidents in the region for the last few years.

        Thereupon the accident, Russian blogosphere mentions one humorous legend about bromine and Russian army. According to it, soldiers in Russian army are sometimes forced to take bromine in small doses for suppression of their sexual urge. This legend  was never confirmed by any official documents or statements, but Chelyabinsk has already been named ironically "the city without sex". 


Sources: RIA Novosti Russia Today 

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Chelyabinsk health the Urals region   

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