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Leaking gas tanks harm Southerners

Update: December, 25/2013 - 08:15
Due to the leakage, water wells for residents in Hamlet 9 in Bu Gia Map District's Long Ha Commune have been contaminated and can no longer be used.— Photo thanhnien

BINH PHUOC (VNS) — Gasoline leaking from a petrol station's tanks has seriously affected dozens of households in a hamlet in the southern province of Binh Phuoc.

Due to the leakage, water wells for residents in Hamlet 9 in Bu Gia Map District's Long Ha Commune have been contaminated and can no longer be used.

Hoang Tien Yen, a resident, complained to Vietnam News Agency that he had to bring in water for use, and has not lit a fire from fears that gasoline fumes might ignite.

Another resident, Kieu Thi Ma, said her family has been seriously affected, as her three children have been hospitalised due to inhaling gasoline fumes. She said she hoped authorities would soon resolve the problem so residents would again have clean water and a safe environment.

The leaking tank contained about 7,000 litres of gasoline. Until now, the station has pumped out 4,100 litres, so it was estimated that 2,000 litres had been disbursed throughout the area, according to an official at the station.

On Monday, the People's Committee of the commune held a meeting between local authorities, residents and the owner of the station to seek a solution.

According to authorities, the incident needs an immediate resolution to prevent a conflagration, and a long-term solution will be discussed later after results of testing have been revealed.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Hang, the station's owner, agreed during the meeting to work with the proper agencies to remove the remaining gasoline, as well as provide clean water for affected households.

Thousands of litres of petrol were pumped out yesterday morning, thanks to co-operation between the district's police, local authorities and residents.

This move, however, is seen as a temporary solution to prevent a conflagration.

"An amount of petrol will be carefully filtered for reuse, whereas, the remaining petrol will be brought to a dumping ground for disposal", said Vu Nhu Ha, vice chairwoman of the commune's people's committee. — VNS

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