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Nigerian president meets villagers near gas rig fire

Friday, March 02, 2012 - 01:27

Mar 2 - Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan visits villagers suffering the effects of a fire still burning after explosions aboard a gas rig on January 16th. Paul Chapman reports.

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EDITORS NOTE: PLEASE MAKE NO FURTHER USE OF STORY 2033 WHICH RAN ON TUESDAY 28TH FEBRUARY. THIS IS A REISSUED VERSION CLARIFYING THAT CHEVRON IS DRILLING A RELIEF WELL TO HELP PUT THE FIRE OUT AND REMOVING THE LINE "CHEVRON HAS REFUSED TO SAY HOW IT PLANS TO TACKLE THE INFERNO." The Chevron gas rig fire off Nigeria's Atlantic coast is still burning more than a month after it erupted and anger is growing. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's calling for immediate action to put out the flames which villagers in the area say are damaging their health and livelihoods. Jonathan, who visited the affected area on Monday (February 27), is urging villagers to be patient. SOUNDBITE: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan saying (English with translation because of poor sound quality) "Finally and eventually the communities affected will have some relief, some compensation, and that is obvious." People who live in villages like Koluama 2 are now complaining of rashes and breathing problems. They also say the sea has been polluted and fish are dying as a result. Local officials are threatening action against some of the firm's installations in the area. SOUNDBITE: Ebi Robbertson, Ijaw Youth Council, saying (English): "We have given Chevron one week to comply with the president's directive. If not Chevron should close down from (in) our areas. They should leave our areas." Chevron has started drilling a relief well to help put the fire out. Two workers were killed when the first explosions were heard from the KS Endeavor rig on January 16th. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Nigerian president meets villagers near gas rig fire

Friday, March 02, 2012 - 01:27