Chlorine gas leak leaves 25 hospitalized in Taoyuan

A posed photo of pipelines.

TAIPEI - A chlorine gas leak from a factory in Taoyuan County left 25 people sick yesterday. They were sent to nearby hospitals, but none of them had life-threatening conditions firefighters said.

The leak resulted from a chemical reaction occurring inside a pipeline when the electroplating factory used it to transport diluted sulfuric acid, the firefighters said.

The pipeline had been used to carry sodium chlorate but had not been cleaned before the sulfuric acid was pumped in, triggering a chemical reaction, the firefighters added.

The county's environmental authorities said sodium chlorate and sulfuric acid are not classified as toxic chemicals, and the accident resulted from the factory's failure to observe proper work safety regulations.