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Executives arrested, officials fired over lake pollution
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Three executives of a company were arrested and 12 government officials fired in connection with polluting a lake in southwest China's Yunnan Province, according to a provincial inspection department spokesman on Wednesday.

Yangzonghai, a lake in southwest China's Yunnan Province in this file photo undated. [sohu.com]

Yangzonghai, a lake in southwest China's Yunnan Province in this file photo undated. [sohu.com]

The executives were Li Dahong, chairman of the board of directors with Jinye Industry and Trade Co., Ltd., and Jin Dadong, director in charge of production in the company. The spokesman did not disclose the identity of the third executive.

The 12 fired officials included Chen Zhifen, a vice mayor of Yuxi City, Yang Zhenqiang, assistant to the mayor, Fang Jianhua, director of the city environmental protection bureau, and two unnamed officials with the provincial water resources department. The others were removed from county-level government departments.

The spokesman said the Yangzonghai Lake, famous for its springs, was detected to contain arsenic in June in the Yuxi City section.

A water plant, that drew its supply from the lake, was suspend in July.At least 26,000 residents were affected.

Most of the affected residents soon had access to water from another water plant. But about 200 residents on a nearby island still lived with bottled water provided by the local government.

Tap water would be available soon, the spokesman said.

The city is now inviting bidders globally to tackle the pollution. The lake water is expected to be safe within three years.

(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2008)

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