Chlorine leaks in Russian city of Izhevsk, no casualties reported

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Chlorine gas has leaked from a water pumping station in the central Russian city of Izhevsk but there were no casualties, the regional emergency service said on Friday, advising people to avoid low ground where it can accumulate.

State news agency RIA, citing a source, said the volume of leaked chlorine was at 800 kilograms (1,764 pounds) and the emergency services were working to prevent the gas from reaching residential areas.

A statement from the regional emergency service advised people in the city of more than 600,000, which is 1,220 km (760 miles) east of Moscow, to avoid low ground where the chlorine gas, which is heavier than air, can accumulate.

Chlorine is a widely used disinfectant and water purification agent, but if inhaled, the gas turns to hydrochloric acid, which can lead to internal burning and drowning through a reactionary release of water in the lungs.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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