BEIJING—A Chinese city government has apologized for taking five days to report a chemical leak that has affected another city’s drinking water supply.
Xinhua News Agency says the mayor of Changzhi in northern Shanxi province apologized at a news conference Monday.
He said the polluter had informed the municipal government of the leak Dec. 31 but that they had underestimated its severity. Xinhua says the city was required to report the leak to the provincial environmental authority within two hours.
About nine tons of aniline had leaked into a river and contaminated the water supply in Handan city in neighbouring Hebei province by the time the incident became public Saturday. Xinhua says the water still couldn’t be used Monday.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified aniline— which used in manufacturing polyurethane—as very toxic in humans, with a probable oral lethal dose of 50 to 500 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg),