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Environmental monitoring has detected an excessive amount of the harmful gas benzene ne
ar the site of a deadly explosion in Xiangshui county of Jiangsu province, authorities said on Thursday.
At 10 am on Wednesday, the benzene density stood at 2.04 milligrams per cubic meter at a monitoring point that is 1 kilometer away in the downwind direc
tion from the site, about 17.5 times more than the national standard. The concentration was below the standard, how
ever, 2 and 3.5 kilometers away, according to a media release from the Jiangsu environmental watchdog.
“Analysis done by environmental experts working on the site shows that the excessive den
sity of benzene occurred because buried pollutants were gradually exposed to the air as cleaning work cont
inues on the site,” Liu Youbin, spokesman of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, told a news conference on Thursday.
The explosion occurred at about 2:48 pm on March 21 after a fire broke out in a plant owned by Jiang
su Tianjiayi Chemical Co. So far, the blast has claimed the lives of 78 people and injured more than 600 people.
m to stumble on the roads. “One year, it was snowing, and I walked more than one hour to the s
chool. My colleague helped me half of the way — otherwise, I might have fallen into the gully,” he said.
Gao Yangyao, who worked with Gao Ziren for many years, said that “he has difficulty walking, but he is usually the first to come to school.”
Gao Ziren’s Mandarin Chinese was not so good in the beginning, and he continued listening to radio broadcasts to improve his pro
nunciation. When students had the wrong pronunciation, he would correct them, even when it cost the whole class time.
In 1980s, the mountainous area had poor teaching conditions, with a lack of desks and benches, so Gao br
ought some desks and benches from home. When some impoverished students had no stationery, he would buy it for them.
Gao Xiaomei, one of the first students Gao Ziren taught and now a school principal in Meiling, said that he taught child
ren carefully and usually walked close to students to help them solve problems. His carefulness led her to be a teacher.
hinese herbal medicine,” said Ruan Jian, deputy manager of Anlong Xic
heng Xiushu Agriculture and Forestry. “Zhegui village has sufficient forest coverage, with p
roper altitude and climatic conditions, which is very suitable for growing imitation wild dendrobium.”
The plant, a member of the orchid family, is known as an important traditional medi
cine in China since many of its biomedical benefits have been scientifically examined.
Wild dendrobium officinale became an endangered species in the 1980s. However, with
the breakthrough of tissue culture technology in the early 2000s, artificially cultivated plants entered the market.
With the expansion in scale, dendrobium planted in some region
s suffered from problems such as pesticide residue, elevated levels of heavy metals and poor quality.
logical environment, allowing the villagers to make a living from the mount
ains,” said Ruan, who introduced the medicinal herb to the forest after a thorough investigation.
Oaks in the village have rough, thick barks, rich in water
and nutrients, making it easier for the dendrobium to attach to the trees and absorb more nutrients.
Since 2013, the company has planted dendrobium on the tree trunks of more than 267 hectares of oak forest.
For a long time, however, transportation difficulties meant the landloc
ked village could not capitalize on its unique ecological advantage. Growing dend
robium officinale was something villagers, including 44-year-old Chen Jian, had never thought of.
“All the oaks are ‘cash cows’ now,” Chen said. “Natural forests cannot be cut, so we did nothing but protect them in the past. Eve
since the dendrobium were ‘planted’ on the tree trunks, the green hills that we have kept for decades have turned into gold.”
Located in Anlong county, in Guizhou’s Qiannan Buyei and Miao autonomous prefect
ure, Zhegui is rich in forestry resources and has a climate that is neither too hot in summer nor too cold in winter.
?from across the country who moved to Dali. She and her husband, who help organize activities
such as gardening, hiking and cycling for newcomers, have a big circle of friends who have relocated to the city.
“People have different reasons for leaving, ranging from the need to take care of elderly pare
nts who have stayed in their hometowns, to taking their children back to big cities for better education,” she said.
People are also leaving because after two or three years without work, they need to find paid employment.
In recent years, thousands of people have moved to Dali from big cities. The exact number is not kno
wn, but a rough estimate from the local government shows that about 40,000 newcomers are living in the city.
Many people decided to leave their jobs and move to Dali from large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong pro
vince, due to work pressures and surging property prices, which have been hotly debated nationwide in recent years.