More than 60 people had to be treated in hospital for a severe skin reaction after coming into contact with a polluted Chinese river, state media reported Wednesday.
The victims, who had collected dead fish or washed their clothes in the Jindong River in eastern Anhui province on Tuesday, felt a burning sensation on their skin a few hours later, Xinhua news agency reported.
The report, citing the local government, said an oily substance could be seen on the river, but the cause of the pollution was not yet known.
Nine of the victims stayed in hospital overnight, while the others were released after shorter treatment, the report added.
The spill is the latest in an unremitting series of reports about China's worsening water pollution.
More than 70 percent of rivers and lakes are polluted, while underground water supplies in 90 percent of Chinese cities are contaminated, previous reports have said.