Equipment failure causes harmful emission from zinc plant in N. Caucasus© RIA Novosti. Konstantin Basov
The failure of a pump in the sulfuric acid workshop of a zinc factory in the capital of North Ossetia has caused the emission of harmful substances into the atmosphere, the regional emergencies center said on Sunday.
The incident occurred at the Electrozinc factory in Vladikavkaz early on Sunday, the ministry said, adding that the factory's administration had given assurances that the emissions posed no threat to the lives and health of the local population.
A special group of experts from the Emergencies Ministry was dispatched to the site of the incident, the ministry said.
"The results of the probe will be announced later," the ministry said.
The factory, which is located within the city of Vladikavkaz, has been periodically discharging harmful substances into the atmosphere since October 2009. On October 28, 2009, permissible concentrations of sulfur dioxide in the city's residential area were exceeded by ten times, according to data of the factory's administration.
Vladikavkaz residents have held several protest actions seeking to draw the authorities' attention to the problem. On March 25, 2010, the North Ossetian arbitration court suspended the factory's operation at the request of the industrial safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor. However, the factory appealed against this decision and in May this year an appeals arbitration tribunal cancelled the court's ruling on suspending the factory's operation.
VLADIKAVKAZ, July 18 (RIA Novosti)
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