The spill of 5,500 barrels of oil on the Wínchele estuary, in Esmeraldas is beginning to affect the inhabitants of the area. Farmers said the petroleum odor is very strong and is causing health problems. So far, dozens of people have received medical assistance after presenting dizziness and vomiting.
According to an estimate made by the Heavy Crude Pipeline (OCP for its Spanish acronym) 39 properties where more than 150 people reside are affected. This tragedy has also killed a lot of domestic animals.
On Monday, there was a spill of 5,500 barrels of oil on the Winchele estuary in Esmeraldas. The company responsible, OCP, said the spill may have been caused by soil settlement in the route from the km 474, which broke the pipe that was buried to 2.5 meters and is being repaired.
Ernesto Estupiñán Quintero, Mayor of Esmeraldas, announced that OCP committed themselves to repair the environmental damage and announced negotiations with the affected. The oil company is still gathering the spilled oil and is taking precautions prevent the spread of contamination to the Esmeraldas river. On the other hand, Robert Grijalva, OCP manager said they would send a brigade of the Ministry of Health.