Chinese residents appear to set tap water on fire after gas leaks into supply

Tom Batchelor
·1 min read
Tap water being set on fire in China (Screengrab/People’s Daily)
Tap water being set on fire in China (Screengrab/People’s Daily)

Residents in northeastern China have reported a flammable substance coming from their taps.

Videos showed people appearing to set fire to water flowing into their kitchen and bathroom sinks.

Complaints were posted on social media on Sunday from residents in Panjin, Liaoning province, who said they were left with an oily residue when washing their hands.

An investigation by local officials reportedly found that a “small amount of natural gas entered the water pipe network”, contaminating the groundwater supply.

A tweet from the People’s Daily, a Chinese-state affiliated newspaper, said the “odd scene is caused by natural gas infiltration due to temporary underground water supply system error, which is now shut down”.

The local authority said in a statement: “Dawa District attaches great importance to the residents’ complaint that ‘the tap water in a villager’s home in Liaoning can be ignited’ and immediately hired an expert to analyse and find the cause.

“After in-depth investigation and analysis, the expert believed that the source of the tap water in Siying Village where the resident was located came from deep groundwater. Due to a small amount of natural gas leaking into the water layer, the natural gas was brought to the ground during the water extraction process.

“Due to the recent expansion of the water storage device of the water station in this area, the temporary direct supply of groundwater has caused a small amount of natural gas to enter the water pipe network, causing a flammability phenomenon.”

The statement added that after a “comprehensive investigation of the tap water sources in the whole district, no such problems have been found in other areas”.

Improvements were promised to ensure the water supply was made safe to use.

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