Five killed in Ukraine chemical leak

Five people died and nine others taken ill after an ammonia leak Tuesday at a chemical plant in Ukraine, the country's emergency service said.

The emission of the poisonous gas occurred during repair work at one of the largest Ukrainian chemical plants, Stirol, in Gorlovka in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

Those taken ill suffered burns and poisoning.

Stirol, the largest producer of nitrogen fertilisers in Ukraine, along with three other chemical companies are combined in Ostchem holding of one of the richest Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash.

Firtash has an estimated fortune of $673 million and a stake in the company RosUkrEnergo, which controls the import of Russian gas to Ukraine. He is also the owner of the Ukrainian Premier League football club "Tavria" (Simferopol).

According to the Stirol website, the failure on the ammonia pipeline which led to the leak has been fixed and there is no further threat to life and health of local residents.

The prosecutor's office has launched a probe into the cause of the accident.