The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) - A British court has ruled in favor of a group of young people who say pollution from a former steelworks contributed to their birth defects.

Eighteen claimants aged between nine and22 sued a local authority, claiming their mothers were exposed to what one expert called an "atmospheric soup of toxic materials" from the former British Steel plant at Corby in central England.

A High Court judge ruled Wednesday that Corby District Council was liable for the deformities in all but two of the cases.

The huge steelworks closed in 1980 and the site was redeveloped. The council denies there is any link between reclamation work at the site and birth defects in local children, including missing fingers and deformed hands and feet.