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Thick crude in the South Oropouche River yesterday.

Eight families in Barrackpore are calling for an investigation into the rupture of a Heritage Petrotrin pipeline which caused several barrels of oil to spill into a river in Barrackpore.

The resident said the leak happened near a drain off Digity Trace that passes under Wilson Road and leads to the South Oropouche river.

On Monday, heavy rains caused the oil to travel further down the river affecting foliage and vegetation.

President of the South Oropouche Riverine Flood Action group Edward Moodie whose lands were affected by the oil spill said farmers use water from the river as irrigation for their crops.

“We noticed this oil spill on Sunday and we are very disturbed because of the impact on wildlife. I saw a five foot caiman covered in oil. Bouchet fishes which jump in the river have all died,” Moodie said.

He added, “The scent is unbearable and it is making residents uncomfortable. During Sunday night the scent was worse because no breeze was blowing.”

Moodie said while Heritage Petroleum had placed booms to contain the oil in the South Oropouche river which runs behind the Digity mud volcanoes, he was still concerned that with heavy rains, the oil could spread.

“We have fishermen in the San Francique and Pluck Road areas who will get their boats affected if the oil should spread,” Moodie added.

However, corporate communications manager of Heritage Petroleum Arlene Gorin-George said that the spill occurred on Sunday. She said it was about three barrels of oil and had been cleaned up.

She said the company had no reports of residents being ill because of oil fumes.