- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

MOSCOW (AP) - A gas poisoning linked to a toxic landfill in a town outside Moscow left dozens hospitalized Wednesday, prompting the regional governor to promise to evacuate local children from the area.

Health officials in the town of Volokolamsk, 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Moscow, said that 57 children have been hospitalized with symptoms of gas poisoning, including nausea and fainting.

Moscow region Gov. Andrei Vorobyev said in remarks carried by his office that he will draw up plans to take “as many children as possible” on vacation trips. His office emphasized that Vorobyov wasn’t talking about a total evacuation.

Local residents held a protest rally earlier this month, demanding that authorities close down a local landfill as a health hazard. Authorities in Volokolamsk in early March called a temporary state of emergency after high levels of hydrogen sulfide were recorded around the landfill.

Early Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered outside the local hospital and surrounded local administrator Yevgeny Gavrilov, with one man in the crowd trying to punch him. Gavrilov was escorted to safety as the crowd shouted “Killer!”

A group of Volokolamsk residents have filed a lawsuit demanding to close the landfill.

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