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Pregnant woman worries for unborn baby

By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Tuesday, August 5 2014

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Worried: Pregnant Jennifer Taylor, at her home in Marabella, worries about her unborn baby's health after she fell ill following a slop oil spill at P...
Worried: Pregnant Jennifer Taylor, at her home in Marabella, worries about her unborn baby's health after she fell ill following a slop oil spill at P...

A PREGNANT woman hopes to deliver a healthy baby after experiencing severe headaches from inhaling fumes following last week’s slop oil spill in the Guaracara River.

“When it had just happened, I could not take the smell. For the first two days, I had bad headaches. The fumes are not as bad now and I am assuming my (unborn) child is healthy . I am not sure what effects this spill has on my pregnancy,” Jennifer Taylor, told Newsday yesterday. Taylor, 25, of Silk Cotton Road, Marabella, is six-and-a half months pregnant with her second child. She admitted the fumes from the nearby river are “coming and going” but the quality of the air seems to be getting back to normal.

On Tuesday last, a leak was discovered on Tank MP6, which was used to store slop oil at Petrotrin’s refinery in Pointe-a-Pierre. An estimated 5,040 barrels are believed to have seeped into the Guaracara River.

Pie vendor Oliver Nurse, also of Silk Cotton Road, Marabella, explained his livelihood has been severely affected and hopes Petrotrin compensates all affected residents.

“I suffer from allergies and asthma. I was supposed to sell pies for the reggae concert which was cancelled due to the spill. For the past four days I cannot make pies to sell. I have bills to pay so I am going to take a chance and make some pies to sell. This spill really throw me off,” Nurse said.

Nurse said while he and other affected residents are grateful for the cleanup by the State-owned oil company, the chemicals used to do so are also having a negative impact on them.

“Whatever they are using is worse than the spill itself. My head is hurting and we have to endure the fumes. I do not know what is going to happen but by the grace of God something has to happen,” Nurse added. Speaking on behalf of other affected residents, Anthony Julian, of Battoo Avenue in Marabella, renewed calls for financial compensation from Petrotrin. Julian further called on Petrotrin officials to make regular visits in the area adding residents have had to endure the fumes over the years from the nearby refinery.

“If it is once a month, they can come and check the people. If not, and they decide they want to buy out the residents then they should make the proper arrangements. This is the worst we have experienced from Petrotrin although we have been provided with food and hampers. Julian said the response from the company was somewhat positive but added more needed to be done.

“They gave us a food and they left shelters for us to go and get medical help. I compliment them for that. On Sunday they said we could cook. We were getting some chest pains and I feel they need to do a little more in terms of compensation. There are many poor people living in this area,” Julian said.

In a release, Petrotrin stated much of the escaped slop oil was contained within the refinery compound. It further stated officials established a continuous presence in Marabella to attend to the concerns of the impacted residents as part of the company’s community outreach.

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