A dirty cat standing on the street, like the toxic cat who felll inside a factory tank containing a dangerous chemical
(Photo Credit: Jens Schott Knudsen | Getty Images)

Cat Falls Into Chemical Tank in Japan, Residents Asked To Maintain Distance

Residents of Fukuyama, Japan, are on high alert. They have been cautioned not to go near a cat who fell inside a factory tank containing a potentially lethal chemical. Surveillance footage captured the feline fleeing the factory while covered in hexavalent chromium. The substance is a highly toxic carcinogenic that causes deadly side effects.

Cat goes missing after falling into a vat of toxic chemicals

BBC News reported that on Monday, Mar. 11, a factory employee reporting to work at the Nomura Plating Fukuyama Factory came across a trail of yellow paw prints on the factory floor. A review of the surveillance footage revealed the cat fell into a 3-metre-deep vat containing the toxic chemical.

Now, Fukuyama environmental officials are warning locals not to touch or get close to a “cat that seems abnormal.” Officials have also requested residents to contact authorities if they spot a feline covered in a strange substance. As of now, no one has reported seeing the cat. However, authorities suspect that the feline might have succumbed to the side effects of the dangerous chemical.

According to The Guardian, touching or inhaling hexavalent chromium results in skin inflammation and respiratory complications, among other serious symptoms. For this reason, factory workers wear PPEs such as respirators and gloves to avoid the poisonous chemical.

In a statement, the Fukuyama-based company made it clear they will take precautions to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.

“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,” a representative with the company stated.

Linda Schenk, a chemical risk assessment expert, spoke to CNN about the cat’s possible fate.

“Even if the fur would protect the skin from immediately getting large burns, cats clean their fur by licking it, moving the corrosive solution into the mouth,” Schenk explained. “My guess is that the cat unfortunately is dead or will be dying shortly, from the chemical burns.”

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