China adds two more industrial accidents to the ledger

If it’s Thursday, it must be time for a story about an industrial accident in China. And while we’re at it, why not go for two? An ammonia leak at a fertilizer factory south of Beijing yesterday killed one worker, sickened six residents, and caused the evacuation of 20,000 people from their homes. Firefighters sprayed the area to fight the fumes, a creative solution that sent contaminated water flowing into the nearby Huanhe River. Dang. Perhaps figuring that one headline is better than two (get it? two heads are better than — eh, never mind), Chinese authorities chose the same day to belatedly reveal that a truck overturned last week and spilled 33 tons of creosote into a river in Shaanxi province, contaminating a reservoir that supplies water for 28,000 people in two towns. Clean water was promptly hauled in for the bewildered residents, who were allowed to drink it only after they helped upright the errant truck. No, we kid. Unless maybe that’s next week’s announcement.