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Trinidad’s state-run oil company probes oil spills

December 21, 2013

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — Trinidad’s state-run oil company is investigating several oil spills that occurred near Venezuela’s east coast and have sickened several people.

Petrotrin officials evacuated coastal residents late Friday as crews work to clean up the spills that affected impoverished fishing communities in Trinidad. The oil’s smell has caused several people in the communities to feel sick, and they have been treated at clinics and released.

Trinidad’s Environmental Management Authority said one spill was reported late Wednesday and officials observed roughly one mile (two kilometers) of thick, black oil along the shore at the time.

Authorities have not said how many total gallons (liters) of oil have been spilled.

Petrotrin said leaks in various pipelines apparently caused most of the spills. The majority of them have been contained.

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