Last Tuesday, residents of Marabella began complaining of fumes affecting them as a result of an oil spill in the Guaracara River.
More than 200 residents of Silk Cotton Drive, Battoo Avenue and surrounding streets have sought medical treatment for burning eyes, nose, and ears, tightness in their chests, breathing difficulties, nausea and dizziness.
Petrotrin has since revealed that an oil leak was discovered on Tank MP6, which was used to store slop oil in the refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre, and while much of the slop oil was contained within the refinery compound, an estimate 5,000 barrels seeped into the Guaracara River.
Petrotrin chairman Linsday Gillette said in a press conference on Saturday that the vice-president of Petrotrin’s refinery and marketing department—who has over 30 years’ service to the company—was suspended with pay as a result.
Gillette said more suspensions are expected.
Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali said the clean-up operations and assistance to residents are expected to cost the State-owned oil company at least $5 million.