77 students sickened by poison smoke
2006-03-22 Staff ReporterSEVENTY-SEVEN students were sickened by poisonous smoke from burning paint and industrial waste in Beijing's Chaoyang District.
All the students injured on Monday were discharged after hospital treatment, reported area newspapers yesterday.
Workers at a neighboring factory were using welding torches when they accidentally ignited discarded paint containers and industrial waste, igniting a fire, reports said. The workers put out the flames in about 10 minutes. The fire occurred at the site where some factory buildings were recently demolished.
The factory manufactures equipment for the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television.
The children of Shuangqiao No. 1 Primary School were attending a routine flag-raising ceremony about 10am on Monday when black smoke wafted into the campus.
"The smoke was very heavy, I wasn't able to see classmates before me, and my eyes shed tears," a girl identified as Xiao Jing was quoted as saying.
The thick smoke caused dizziness, headache, choking and nausea in many students.
The factory promised it would bear all responsibilities for the poisoning mishap.
It had paid the children's medical bills.
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