25 Jan 2011

Death of four year old believed to have sparked PNG dispute

10:07 am on 25 January 2011

The death of a child is believed to have sparked an outbreak of violence that's led to the shut down of work at one of the LNG project sites in PNG and the evacuation of workers.

The Post Courier reports three employees including an expatriate man were injured in the violence at the Hide 4 site.

Police and company officials say the attack was not related to an earlier landowner dispute that stopped work at the site, but over the death of a 4 year old child.

Police say the child's relatives blamed the LNG operation for his death from poisoning.

When the company failed to accept liability, our correspondent Jonathan Tannos says hundreds of people went on a rampage.

"There was an explosion of violent actions in the area and they apparently invaded one of the camps, the Hides 4 project camp, and several people, including workers, they were badly injured and they have been flown down to Australia for medical attention."

Jonathon Tannos says government officials are assessing the situation.