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Cat In A Vat: Japanese City Warned Over Dangers Of Feline That Fell In Toxic Chemicals

It could be the opening scene from a new Marvel film. Residents of a Japanese city have been warned not to approach or touch a missing cat that appears to have fallen into a vat of toxic chemicals before scampering off.

The search for the unlucky feline began after an employee of a metal plating plant in Fukuyama, western Japan, arrived at work to find a trail of yellowy-brown paw prints leading away from a container of hexavalent chromium, a highly acidic carcinogen.

Touching the chemical can cause skin inflammation and inhaling it can lead to respiratory problems. Factory employees wear masks and rubber gloves when handling the substance, the firm said, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Security camera footage shows the cat leaving the factory, its whereabouts currently unknown.

There does not appear to be any footage showing how the cat came into contact with the chemical, which was stored in a three-metre-deep vat.

CCTV from Nomura Plating Fukuyma factory in Japan showing what is believed to be a cat running away after it fell into a poisonous chemicals tank.CCTV from Nomura Plating Fukuyma factory in Japan showing what is believed to be a cat running away after it fell into a poisonous chemicals tank.“We immediately alerted police, the Fukuyama city and neighbours near our factory,” a representative of the firm, Nomura Plating Fukuyama Factory, told Agence France-Presse.

The company said part of a sheet covering the tank appeared to have been turned over.

“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,” the unnamed representative added.

There had been no reported sightings of the animal as of Tuesday. Locals have been told to call police immediately if they come across an “abnormal-looking” cat, and to keep their distance.

Fukuyama environmental officials speculated that the cat may have died as a result of its encounter with the poisonous chemical.

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