Environmentalists are warning that a toxic chemical spill in Ukraine is still posing a health risk. Greenpeace says scores of people have sought treatment since a cloud of poisonous phosphorous was released into the atmosphere following a train crash in the west of the country.
Officials say they are coping with the situation. The head of the regional health protection agency said examinations are taking place in every affected village: “So that’s why there’s been an increase in the number of people hospitalised”, he added.
In the immediate aftermath of the crash near Lviv residents said a lack of information fuelled their anxiety. But Deputy Prime Minister Olexander Kuzmuk, who previously compared the spill to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, said there was no longer any danger to the local population. He said tests showed people could now drink water from wells and eat vegetables from their gardens.
The EU has said it is on standby to offer Ukraine assistance. But, echoing the fears of neighbouring countries, the European Commission said the toxic cloud would not respect borders.