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Slop oil spill sickens Marabella residents

RICHARDSON DHALAI Monday, August 4 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Sick medicine: Judy Brown, of Marabella, displays medication yesterday which she claims residents are receiving at Augustus Long Hospital after fallin...
Sick medicine: Judy Brown, of Marabella, displays medication yesterday which she claims residents are receiving at Augustus Long Hospital after fallin...

ALMOST a week approximately 5,000 barrels of slop oil spilled into the Guaracara River, affected residents of Silk Cotton Avenue, Marabella have described Petrotrin’s response as “very poor” saying the State oil company has not kept its promise of adequate medical care, employment or relocation for them.

Petrotrin in talks for auditorLast Tuesday, a low pressure storage tank, MP 6, located on the compound of Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, ruptured and spilled more than 17,000 barrels of slop oil. However, the slop oil was not contained by a bond wall which eventually collapsed. The slop oil seeped into nearby tributaries and eventually to the Guaracara River located about a mile away.

The company, using vacuum trucks, oil booms, skimmers and pumps, recovered more that 70 percent of the slop oil from the river.

However, Battoo Avenue resident, Alister Cephas, said yesterday residents were experiencing nausea, chest and belly pains, as well as skin and eye irritations.

Cephas explained, “The after-effects are headaches, dizziness, nausea with some people complaining about chest pains and belly pains.

The response by Petrotrin is very poor, because they made an agreement with the residents to take them to and fro to the shelters where they will have a doctor located there.

The ill residents have been asked to pick up medication at Augustus Long Hospital, after which they have to find their way back home.”

Cephas also queried why proper tests were not being done on residents who have complained of various illnesses warning of possible lung infections. “All they doing is testing for temperature and pressure. But internally, they haven’t done anything,” he said

Cephas also complained that although the Guaracara River had been cleaned, there is still a nauseating stench emanating from the river. He said, “Petrotrin moving poor... they giving people half case of water.”

Asked about relocation of pregnant women, Cephas said Petrotrin promised those who are due to deliver soon would be accommodated at the Augustus Long Hospital, Pointe-a-Pierre.

Another resident, Judy Brown, whose head was wrapped in a towel, said she had been experiencing headaches since the oil spill. She said, “I feel very, very, very bad because I am getting headaches for the past few days. I have to wet my head to keep away the headaches from coming. The sneezing is also a problem because you keep getting this smell in your nose.”

Another resident, Anthony Julien, expressed the view that Petrotrin should pay out monetary compensation to the affected residents who have fallen ill.

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