Beijing: Fourteen people from six mining companies have pleaded guilty to causing arsenic pollution in central China which poisoned 49 villagers and incurred a loss of over USD 1.3 million.

The defendants, who were accused of discharging 680 tonnes of pollutants containing arsenic from 2008 to 2013 which seriously contaminated environment, yesterday appeared before the People’s Court of Xialu, Huangshi city, prosecutors said. They confessed to causing the pollution during the trial, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

Forty-nine villagers suffered arsenic poisoning while urine samples of 118 others were found to contain excessive level of the element. The pollution led to losses of more than 8 million yuan (USD 1.3 million).

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