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China Shuts Down Chemical Plant after Protest


Residents of Dalian demand the removal of a local petrochemical plant at a protest in the city August 14, 2011

Residents of Dalian demand the removal of a local petrochemical plant at a protest in the city August 14, 2011

Chinese state media said Sunday that authorities have ordered the immediate shutdown of a petrochemical plant in a northeastern Chinese port of Dalian after thousands of people gathered outside government offices in the city to demand the relocation of the facility.

The official Xinhua news agency said officials also pledged to move the Fujia chemical plant out of the city.

Xinhua said about 12,000 people assembled for the protest earlier in the day and there were scuffles between the crowd and hundreds of riot police, but no injuries were reported.

The protest was triggered by mounting fears over the safety of the factory, which makes paraxylene, a carcinogenic liquid used in the production of polyester films and fabric.

Last Monday, residents living near the plant had to be evacuated after waves from tropical storm Muifa damaged a dyke protecting the facility.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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