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Irradiated water kills tens

Agostinho Neto

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The Azerbaijani Government has acknowledged there has been a radioactive contamination in the town of Sovinar, south of Sevan Lake, Armenian Autonomous Republic. The report, from the official news agency, DailyNews.Az , said there had been casualties but gave no details of numbers. It said aid was being sent to the injured. The report said that contaminated rain penetrated trought the Aqueduct system since the fall of the bombs in Europe, and local authorities failed to detect contamination, but gave no further details beyond saying that measures were being taken to "eliminate the consequences of the accident". The report was the first confirmation of a major contamination since the end of the war.

The number of casualties, both immediately and in the future, from radiation sickness, is expected to be high, around 130. It is not believed, however, that there is any risk to the health of anyone outside the town. The sudden jump in radioactivity levels near Sevan Lake was enough to prompt a full-scale alert in the Autonomous Republic, which initially believed the accident had happened in the Northern Caucasus, on the Black Sea coast. The evacuation of border towns and communites had been ordered before experts realised that the source of the radioactivity must have been within Armenia.


Edited by President Aliyev
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