What the BBC is reporting…

August 25, 2006

Philippine oil spill claims life
By Sarah Toms
BBC News, Manila

AN oil spill in the central Philippines has claimed its first human victim, with a man dying from breathing the toxic fumes.

In the 12 days since the tanker sank, the huge slick has washed sludge onto huge areas of coastline.

The oil spill has damaged fishing grounds, and polluted dive spots and a national marine reserve.

Health officials say the man inhaled fumes of the thick, tar-like substance outside his home on Guimaras island.

Villagers say skin and breathing problems have become commonplace.

The government has hired locals for the clean-up, paying them less than $4 (£2.11) a day to scoop up the sludge on the shores. Many have no masks and use their bare hands.

(Originally published on BBC News, Aug. 23, 2006. Click here for the rest of the story.)


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