China warns of polluted river

A central Chinese province issued a pollution warning Friday for millions of people who rely on the Yellow River for drinking water after six tons of diesel oil leaked from a power plant into a tributary. An oil pipe at the plant in Gongyi City, in Henan province, cracked due to freezing temperatures, dumping the oil into the Yilou branch of the Yellow River, an official surnamed Wang from the Henan Environment Protection Bureau told The Associated Press.

Local government officials acted quickly to contain the spill, but some of it leaked into the main stream of the river, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

An official at the State Environment Protection Administration said active carbon was used to try to absorb the oil slick. "They are trying their best to ensure the safety of drinking water," said the official in the duty office, who only gave his surname, Huang.

All cities and counties along the river, which flows across northern China and is a water source for tens of millions of people, have been told to step up monitoring of drinking water, Xinhua said. I.L.

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