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China: UN may send team to toxic spill site

China: UN discusses sending disaster management team to site of toxic spill

Representatives of several United Nations agencies are discussing with the Chinese authorities a suitable date for a UN disaster management team to visit contaminated area of the Songhua River following a large explosion at a petro-chemical plant in China's Jilin Province earlier this month, a UN spokesman said today.

A UN environmental team has been on standby to help both Chinese and Russian authorities, if requested, and spokesman Stephane Dujarric told the daily noon briefing in New York that the Chinese Government had shown interest.

The first order of business would be to assess damage and needs. The mission would also consider visiting areas of Russia down river affected by the chemical spill.

The agencies involved are the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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