A steady uptick in shelling along front lines in eastern Ukraine is threatening numerous industrial facilities that, if damaged, could trigger severe environmental and humanitarian consequences, according to a new report by an environmental nonprofit organization.

The report, published by the Geneva-based Zoi Environment Network and the Toxic Remnants of War Project, comes just days after the United Nations warned against the potential for a “catastrophic chemical disaster” in Ukraine’s restive east.

“Battles are now being fought in cities, close to industrial centers, with factories increasingly becoming at risk of being hit: the consequences for anyone living close-by would be severe,” Baskut Tuncak, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, said in a release.

The U.N. report, released Friday, indicated that on Feb. 24 errant shells had impacted a building that housed more than 15,000 pounds of chlorine gas. No containers were hit, the report said; however, if one container had been ruptured, anyone within 600 feet would have been killed.


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Featured image courtesy of EPA.