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Chemical cat sparks alert in Japan

Written by World Events

This handout picture taken and released by Nomura Plating on March 12, 2024 shows footprints believed to be from the cat in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture. //AFP

Tokyo, Japan – Locals in a city in western Japan have been told not to approach or touch a missing cat that fell into a vat of dangerous chemicals and then scampered off into the night.

An employee at a metal plating plant in Fukuyama arrived for work on Monday morning to find feline paw prints leading away from the container, the firm said.

Grainy security camera footage released by the company shows the furry fugitive fleeing from the factory, apparently unharmed. The vat, three metres (10 feet) deep, contained hexavalent chromium, which is carcinogenic and can cause skin inflammation.

“We immediately alerted police, the Fukuyama city and neighbours near our factory,” a representative from the company told AFP, without wishing to be named.

“The incident woke us up to the need to take measures to prevent small animals like cats from sneaking in, which is something we had never anticipated before,” he said.

City authorities told locals to avoid touching the animal and to inform police immediately if they come across it.

No sightings had been reported as of Tuesday afternoon.

by Agence France-Presse

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