OTML welcomes findings into South Fly deaths

The mighty Fly River twisting through the Western Province

The mighty Fly River twisting through the Western Province

Ok Tedi Mining | PNG Loop

Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) says it has been cleared of involvement in the reported deaths of a number of people in the South Fly area of Western Province last month.

The company which operates the massive copper and gold mine at Tabubil in the North Fly area of the province welcomed  the findings of a report by the South Fly District Health Services (SFDHS) which had  cleared OTML of being the cause of mysterious deaths in South Fly villages.

These deaths were reported by Pastor Steven Bagari on the Dateline Pacific program on Radio New Zealand on 28th of November.

Similar reports were made on the PNG Facts website on 21st of November and on the NBC News PNG page on Facebook on November 22.

The management of OTML has commended the quick action by the SFDHS in deploying a medical patrol team from November 26 to 29, to Tirere, Kabaturi, Sagero and Maipani villages to investigate the causes of illness and deaths allegedly from chemical poisoning caused by two 200L drums said to contain cyanide that had washed ashore.

According to the Incident medical report, the two drums contained an unidentified liquid substance however there was no evidence to suggest that they contributed to the cause of illness and deaths among the male group affected and highlighted other medical conditions as the cause.

OTML management stated that the findings had cleared OTML, and urged journalists, media organisations and social media users to find out facts before publishing stories from rumors that can create uncertainty and panic in the communities.

The area was given huge publicity many years ago when a load of drums containing cyanide spilled from a barge into the water. Many of the drums were recovered but some were never traced.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

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