World News

Class Year


Document Type

World News

Publication Date

Spring 2006


Since an explosion on November 13, 2005 at Jilin Petrochemical Corporation’s benzene factory in the northeastern city of Harbin, 45 other pollution accidents were reported to China’s State Environmental Protection Administration [“SEPA”], including six “major disasters.” The Harbin explosion poured one hundred tons of the carcinogenic benzene and nitrobenzene into the Songhua River in a plume of contaminated water 150 kilometers long. Ten thousand people were evacuated and four million people had no public water services for several days. On February 14, 2006, another major spill in the Yuexi River left 20,000 residents of the Sichuan village of Guanyin without water when high concentrations of fluorine, amine-nitrate, and phenol were discovered in the river.