• Short Summary

    A manager and chief engineer of the chemical factory which swamped an Italian village with a cloud of poisonous gas have been released from jail to carry out an inspection on the factory.

  • Description

    A manager and chief engineer of the chemical factory which swamped an Italian village with a cloud of poisonous gas have been released from jail to carry out an inspection on the factory.

    SYNOPSIS: They were arrested on Thursday night (22 July) and released the following day, after being charged with "culpably causing a disaster". The incident happened several days earlier when a cloud of poisonous gas escaped after an explosion at the factory and put 20 people into hospital. The gas also killed several animals and damaged vegetation in the area of Seveso, north of Monza, near Milan. Among the injured where several children, and local inhabitants have been warned not to eat any vegetables from the area until further notice. The gas is used as a base for week-killers and defoliants -- which strips vegetation of its leaves. About two pounds (4.4 kilos) of the gas escaped. Experts say a small spoonful of the gas, in liquid form, would be enough to kill several million people.

    Apart from vegetation being burnt, local animals have been dying from internal bleeding. The gas, of type used in Vietnam by United States forces to destroy thousands of square miles (kilometres) of vegetation, escaped ten days earlier--without being noticed. It was not until several children were taken to hospital with skin burns and liver pains that the alarm was raised. After that, the effects on animals and plant life was noticed. About 30 children were affected, and it was understood that crops in an area of several square miles (kilometres) would have to be destroyed. A shower of rain washed the gas from the atmosphere after some days, but the gas - which does not dissolve in water -- was transferred to the ground. The manager and chief engineer of the factory -- which is Swiss-owned -- were released in order to carry out specialised tests and examinations which no-one else was qualified to do. Police, who ordered the immediate investigation into the incident, did not evacuate the area -- but several families left any-way of their own accord. The long-term effects of the gas on human life are not know.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA2CH8DHBAYVOB7VMFDH9JXWB8V
    Media URN:
    VLVA2CH8DHBAYVOB7VMFDH9JXWB8V
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    23/07/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:53:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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