A Palace Coup De Glace
Harbin, China
by Telis Demos

(FORTUNE Magazine) - That eerie yellow and green glow emanating from the ice sculptures in Harbin this winter isn't the result of toxic chemicals in the city's water. But in November, six weeks before this industrial city in northeastern China opened its 22nd annual Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, featuring a replica of Beijing's Summer Palace, a chemical spill a few hundred miles upriver threatened to cast a noxious pall over the festivities. An explosion at a state-run chemical plant released 100 tons of benzene into the Songhua River, which supplies Harbin's drinking water--and the blocks of ice with which its sculptures are made. The city's water supply was shut off for several days as the toxic spill floated downstream. Local officials were at first silent about the cause of the shut-down, but accounts of the spill posted on the Internet forced them to come clean. By then the river was no longer contaminated, and the city's supply of water was restored. Neither the benzene spill nor subzero temperatures seem to have affected the flow of tourists into Harbin. Visitors say the festival is as crowded as ever. Top of page

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.
Manage alerts | What is this?
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.