Poisonous Smog Returns To Moscow

The poisonous smog that contributed to a higher death rate in Moscow last week returned to Russia's capital Sunday, officials said. The concentration of carbon monoxide in Moscow air early Sunday was more than five times what is considered normal, said Alexey Popikov of weather monitors Mosecomonitoring. In addition, "The level of hydrocarbon emissions — the substances that give the air this unpleasant smell — was 5.5 times higher than the usual Moscow level this morning," he told The Associated Press. He added, however, that by Monday winds will disperse most the smog. Acrid smoke from forest and peat bog fires blanketed Moscow until early this week, nearly doubling the number of recorded deaths and grounding planes in airports. Emergency officials said the number of wildfires outside Moscow stood at 16 early Sunday. Muscovites expressed disappointment with official efforts to stop the fires.