The Straits Times
Published on Oct 06, 2012

South Koreans evacuated village after toxic leak


SEOUL (AFP) - Dozens of South Korean villagers evacuated to a temporary shelter on Saturday following a toxic chemical leak in the southeastern city of Gumi as officials assessed the extent of the damage.

About 70 elderly residents left their village, Bongsan-ri, in Gumi by two buses to Baekhyeon-ri, about 6km away, to avoid the fallout from the September 27 leak of about eight tons of hydrofluoric acid.

"We decided to get out of this village to avoid health risks," village leader Park Myung-seok told journalists, demanding local government authorities provide them with proper shelters.

The village is home to about 300 people, and the disaster management office in Gumi said the remaining residents would be evacuated in stages.