Chlorine leak in Baghdad sickens hundreds

AP News
Posted: Jul 12, 2011 5:23 PM
Chlorine leak in Baghdad sickens hundreds

Health officials say hundreds of people have been sickened by a chlorine gas cloud that leaked over Baghdad after an explosion at a water treatment plant.

Dr. Ali Bustan al-Fartousi, manager of the Rusafa health office in the capital's east, said no one died in the Tuesday night accident and nearly all of the 700 people treated had been released from hospitals.

Al-Fartousi said most of those affected were from the sprawling Sadr City neighborhood where many of Baghdad's poorest Shiites live.

Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Ziyad Tariq confirmed the number of people who were sickened from breathing the poisoned air.

Security officials blamed the explosion on a mechanical problem at the water plant.