A poisonous gas leaked, killing a worker and injuring six others in a hardware factory and triggering an evacuation of nearby residents, in Fuyang City in neighboring Zhejiang Province yesterday.
The leak, which happened about 10:40am in a rural village of the city, also put another four workers, the factory boss and a passer-by into a coma. Three of them were in critical condition after being sent to a hospital, a Fuyang government information official told Shanghai Daily yesterday.
The passer-by, who walked in front of the Longqi Metal Co factory, noticed something awry and called police, but lost consciousness after inhaling the gas, the official said.
The gas was identified as arsenide cyanide, a lethal byproduct of processing and storing arsenide. It causes acute renal failure as well as heart failure and uremia.
"The city's police, fire and environmental protection authorities soon evacuated all the surrounding residents after the accident," she said, adding that the number of people who had been evacuated was not yet clear. By late afternoon, they still had not been allowed to go home.
Firefighters turned off the gas valve to prevent further leaks while the city's environment authorities measured the amount of harmful gas in the air, the official said.
The colorless and odorless gas filled the factory building, covering 200 square meters, according to rescuers.
They launched three searches of the factory and confirmed that the boss and five workers were the only people inside when the accident happened.
The leak's cause is still under investigation.