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19 August 2017
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Ten of 15 derailed cars with phosphorus recovered in Ukraine

A total of 174 people were engaged in relief and cleanup efforts

Ten of 15 cars with toxic yellow phosphorus, which derailed in western Ukraine last Monday, have been recovered, the emergencies ministry said Monday, according to RIA Novosti.

A freight train carrying phosphorus from Kazakhstan to Poland derailed in the Lviv Region, and six cars caught fire after depressurization. A total of 174 people, including 46 children and 14 people engaged in relief and cleanup efforts, have been injured but are reported in satisfactory condition.

Ukraine`s deputy prime minister, Alexander Kuzmuk, who is overseeing cleanup efforts, said earlier the recovered cars would be taken outside Ukraine July 25.

The emergencies ministry said Friday the recovered undamaged cars with phosphorus would be sent back to the producer in Kazakhstan via Russia, which had been coordinated with officials in both countries.

A presidential secretariat official said Friday the transportation of yellow phosphorus had been conducted in violation of safety rules, as in summer the highly inflammable substance should have to be transported at night.

"... phosphorus catch fire at a temperature of over plus 30 degrees Celsius (over 86 F(). Air temperature that day was 40 degrees above zero (104 F()," Viktor Bondar said.

Bondar also said, referring to President Viktor Yushchenko, that the transport and communication minister could be dismissed over the accident, which authorities called the country`s worst man-made disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl tragedy. Although they claimed that no neighboring country was at risk.

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