15 Aug 2011

Toxic chemical plant closed in China

6:09 am on 15 August 2011

Authorities in the north-eastern Chinese city of Dalian have ordered the closure of a chemical plant after a big protest over pollution.

Scuffles broke out on Sunday between police and 12,000 protesters calling for it to be moved. Riot police had to be delpoyed.

Xinhua news agency said officials ordered the plant's closure ''immediately'' and pledged to relocate it.

The BBC reports a storm last week broke a dyke around the plant, sparking fears the paraxylene it makes could spill. Nearby residents had to be evacuated on Monday. The dyke has since been repaired.

PX is used to make plastics, polyester and cleaning products and can be highly toxic.