China plugs leaking gas well, evacuees to return
SHANGHAI, Apr 1 (Reuters) Engineers have capped a leaking gas well in southwest China that forced evacuation of more than 10,000 residents, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The 3,400-metre-deep well, owned by China National Petroleum Corp., began leaking on March 25, and was finally capped early yesterday, the official agency said.
The leakage at the well in Chongqing municipality began during final tests before it was to have gone into production.
Two earlier attempts to cap it failed on March 27 and 29.
Xinhua said more than 10,000 people who lived within 1 km of the well had had to leave home but should now be able to return.
A toxic gas leak in the same area in late 2003 killed 243 people in one of the nation's worst industrial accidents. Many of the victims died in their sleep.
REUTERS PG SP1257