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Toxic Waste Death Toll in Ivory Coast Rises to 10


Ivory Coast authorities say 10 people have died from the effects of toxic waste dumped illegally around the main port city of Abidjan in August.

The health ministry said in a report Friday the death toll in Abidjan has risen from the previous reported toll of eight.

It said more than 100,000 people have sought medical aid and at least 69 people have been hospitalized following open-air dumping of the waste.

Authorities say a tanker illegally dumped deadly chemicals in at least 17 sites around Ivory Coast's economic capital. A French company has been contracted to clean up the sites.

Trafigura, a Dutch company, that chartered the ship has denied that the waste was toxic enough to cause the problems.

The tanker Probo Koala is currently docked in Estonia, where remaining waste is to be unloaded and treated.

Thursday, Estonian officials said they had completed an investigation into the tanker and said the ship would be free to leave port after its cargo of waste was removed.

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