VLADIVOSTOK, December 26 (RIA Novosti, Veronika Perminova) - The toxic slick that has been traveling down the Amur River through Khabarovsk for the past five days may leave the Far Eastern city by December 29, a local government spokesman said Monday. The slick that formed after an explosion at a Chinese petrochemical plant on November 13 is more than 118 miles in length and now traveling at 15 mph.
Experts have reported lower benzene concentration levels as the most toxic part of the spill has already passed Khabarovsk. The city's water supply meets sanitary standards.
The local hydrometeorology department said the front of the slick might reach Amursk on January 2-3 and Komsomolsk-on-Amur on January 4-5.
Scientists from the Khabarovsk Territory are preparing to study the damage caused to the Amur, and the regional administration has asked the Russian government to finance the research.
Meanwhile, China dispatched another seven wagon-loads (350 metric tons) of absorbent carbon to purify water in Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Ten loads of the carbon were already delivered to Khabarovsk.
"China intends to provide Russia with more than 650 tons of absorbent carbon free of charge to purify water in the Amur," Igor Melnikov, head of the international relations department of the Far Eastern Railroad, said Monday.