Over 5,000 tonnes of highly toxic industrial waste have been dumped in a Chinese rural area, causing death to livestock and polluting soil and water, authorities said.
Water resources experts assesses the condition of the Nanpan river in Yunnan province, where two trucks illegally dumped 5,222 tonnes of chromium compound waste a few weeks ago, the China Daily reported.
Two truck drivers were under contract with a provincial chemical factory to ship the waste to a treatment plant to a neighbouring province, but the men never made the delivery. Instead, they dumped the waste and saved the transport costs, officials said.
Both of them have been arrested and production was halted at the plant, said a company executive.
The problem came to the attention of authorities in June, when villagers reported that goats grazing near the dumping sites died after drinking water polluted by the chemical waste.
The pollution has not caused any human deaths, the officials said.