The embattled head of a Russian district outside Moscow has reportedly been dismissed from his post after locals protested the poisoning of over 50 schoolchildren by toxic landfill gases this week.
Renewed protests rocked the town of Volokolamsk after scores of children sought medical attention over nausea and dizziness linked to the nearby garbage dump. Frustrated residents attacked Volokolamsk district head Yevgeny Gavrilov at a protest outside the town’s hospital on Wednesday over his failure to address their concerns.
Unnamed sources in the Volokolamsk administration told the RTVI news channel on Friday that Gavrilov had been dismissed.
The news followed reports of local authorities treating the foul-smelling Yadrovo landfill overnight with a giant aerosol cannon to neutralize the stench with a lemon smelling chemical.
“There’s practically no smell right now,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited the Moscow region’s head of housing and utilities, Yevgeny Khromushin, as telling reporters Friday, a claim derided by locals.
Two “aerosol cannons” are expected to stand watch over the Yadrovo dump during the next two weeks as authorities plan to install a “dome” over it to block the smell, Khromushin added.
Moscow region governor Andrei Vorobyov was filmed being attacked by locals throwing snowballs outside the Volokolamsk hospital where a gathering by parents turned into an impromptu demonstration on Wednesday, the RBC business portal reported.
A 10-year-old girl has become an online hero in the ecological movement after she made a throat-cutting gesture toward the governor during his televised address.