Millions of residents of Harbin, one of northeast China's largest cities, are enduring their third day without water after about 100 tons of a toxic chemical were released into a river.
China's official Xinhua news agency says that, as of early Friday, the level of chemicals in the Songhua River remained 28 times above national safety standards.
Thursday, the leading edge of an 80-kilometer long slick of benzene reached Harbin's municipal water inlets. Experts say it will be sometime Saturday before the river flows clean again in Harbin.
Authorities are warning people to avoid the benzene fumes rising from the river.
Meanwhile, Petrechemical Corporation, a subsidiary of China's largest oil producer, China National Petroleum Corporation has apologized for the chemical plant explosion November 13 that spilled the cancer-causing pollutants upstream in Jilin City.