This is scary stuff.
Tara Kelly writes for The Huffington Post, June 17, 2012, that the Chinese government’s English-language newspaper, China Daily, reports that on June 14 a huge mushroom-like cloud was spotted over Beijing, closely resembling the explosion of an atomic bomb.
Footage of the mysterious cloud has been released on YouTube. One shows raw video of the haze taken from what appears to be a high-rise building, while another video is an edited version documenting the haze on June 14. Note how right next to the giant mushroom cloud are clear blue skies:
The yellow and green haze led Chinese authorities to advise residents to stay inside Monday, according to Agence France-Presse.
While rumors swarmed online about the cause of the unusual cloud, Chinese police arrested two internet users who said the pollution had been triggered by a chlorine leak at a chemical plant or an explosion at a steel refinery, notes The Economic Observer.
Meanwhile, government authorities told the official Xinhua news agency that straw burning was the cause and denied there had been any industrial accidents.
Air pollution is increasingly becoming a major problem in China, and the secretive Communist Party government is often accused of downplaying the severity of the problem in metropolitan areas.
Earlier this month, China demanded the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to stop publishing air pollution readings, saying it was against diplomatic conventions and the law.