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BEIJING — Authorities in eastern China cut off a city's water supply for five hours after a chemical pollutant was discovered, state media reported.
The tap water for Yancheng city in eastern Jiangsu province was turned off at 7:20 a.m. and resumed about 2 p.m., a government spokesman said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
It was unclear what caused the chemical to leak into the water supply for the city, which has a population of 1.5 million people.
Government officials were investigating the source of the pollution, a second news agency reported. The China News Service said the environmental protection department sent work teams to investigate the chemical leak.
China's double-digit economic growth has come with a surge in heavily polluting industries. In recent years, a series of high-profile industrial accidents along major rivers have disrupted water supplies to large cities.
Last year, heavy pollution turned portions of the Han river, a branch of the Yangtze, in central Hubei province red and foamy, forcing the government to cut water supplies to as many as 200,000 people.
In 2005, in one of China's worst cases of river pollution, carcinogenic chemicals, including benzene, spilled into the Songhua River. The northeastern city of Harbin was forced to sever water supplies to 3.8 million people for five days. The accident also strained relations with Russia, into which the polluted waters flowed.
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