Gas leak forces 800 to flee building in China

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Associated Press

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 5:01 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 6 at 5:33 AM

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say a toxic gas leak caused by chemicals used nine years ago to combat the SARS epidemic has forced more than 800 workers to evacuate from a downtown office building in east China's Hangzhou city.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday that the gas came from a stockpile of chlorine dioxide powder. It was used as a disinfectant in 2003 during the SARS scare but was never disposed of.

Xinhua says white smog filled the 19th floor of the building on Friday morning, causing panic.

Xinhua quoted the fire department as saying no one was injured. It did not say what caused the chemicals to leak.

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