Two people have been hospitalized as a result of the effects of contaminated Pacific Ocean waters stemming from the Repsol oi spill off Callao, Peruvian authorities said Tuesday.
Jorge Escobar, who acted as a spokesman for the Health Ministry, said so far 2 cases of acute poisoning had been detected in connection with the environmental incident in Ventanilla.
Escobar had already warned late in January that these two were maintenance workers who had been cleaning the beaches without adequate protection gear and insisted only companies and people with proper training to handle these matters needed to be involved and wear at all times biosafety devices.
The inhalation of toxic gases may cause pneumonia or allergic problems, the authorities also pointed out.
Escobar also explained there were 52 health care facilities deployed in addition to mobile units to attend to people affected by the oil spill. The official also said the two cases out of 852 patients had been transferred from these first aid centers to a hospital for further treatment.
The official also recommended people to stay at least 30 meters away from the contamination zones to avoid inhalating hazardous substances.
Over 20 beaches and five natural reservations in Lima have been hit by the Jan. 15 spill at the La Pampilla refinery operated by Repsol, while cleanup work continues at sea.
The spill occured when an Italian-flagged oil tanker unloaded hydrocarbons at Repsol's La Pampilla refinery, 4 kilometers from Ventanilla district.
Medical campaigns will continue to be carried out to assist local residents affected by the spill