Romania reports toxic clouds from Bulgaria

BUCHAREST, Jul 15, 2000 -- (Reuters) Romania's environment ministry said on Friday that toxic gas had drifted to a Romanian Danube port town, allegedly leaked from neighboring Bulgaria.

A ministry statement said local environment experts had identified concentrations of hydrogen sulfide in excess of admitted levels at Zimnicea, a small port town across the river border from Bulgaria.

"There are no pollution sources around Zimnicea which might be responsible for the leakages of hydrogen sulfide," it said, blaming the foul smelling gas clouds on leakages from a textile mill in the Bulgarian town of Svishtov across the river.

The ministry said Bulgarian authorities had been notified of the incident, which it said had occurred on Thursday.

In Sofia, a civil defense official told Reuters that there had been no reports "on environmental changes in the region of Shvistov on July 13".

Romania and Bulgaria have a tradition of tit-for-tat accusations of cross-border pollution from industrial plants on their Danube border, dating back to the communist era.

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