I need to keep my family after a terrible experience with a radiation exposure
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I am Keith MacDonald now aged 66 and I have a heart wrenching story that needs some justice and closure. I have been a hard working man for my entire working life and have worked in the UK and overseas in the Oil and Gas industry. It is so ironic that Syria is making the headlines every day and I had a terrible ordeal in Aug 2000. I was contracted out by a company called Gray McKenzie Oilfield Services however they only provided me with the documentation, visa etc to work for AFPC (Al Furat Pet Co) which was managed as part of a JV with SSPD (Syria Shell Pet Dev) part of Royal Dutch Shell Whilst there in Syria I was working as a site inspection / integrity inspection engineer to evaluate the existing production facilities to establish a detailed life expectancy of the oil facilities there. I was made aware that in some locations in south east Syria oil fields near Deir Ezzor there are wells that have seriously high levels of NORM ( Naturally Occurring Radiation Material) effectively the oil is pumping and the water content is contaminated with all sorts e.g. RADON Hydrogen Sulphide etc... Awareness courses were run and we were all notified that all "Contaminated Areas" were fenced off with warning signs plus protective clothing, masks etc would be available. On Aug 1st 2000 I was notified that a particular well THAYEEM 107 had a leaking flow line and requested by the Shell Senior Engineer a UK expat to go and look at the situation and assist in the rectification. When I arrived at the site there were approx 20/25 personnel working and had replaced a section of piping that was leaking from the wellhead piping. The Syrian site supervisor asked me to check a valve as it was faulty and not having a replacement on site I asked them to pressure test it and we could replace it at a later date. I then went to the site office to take some coffee while they were arranging the test and I noticed a "radiological report” taken early that day. The readings were literally sky high ... over 6300 Counts per second with the presence of Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation. the entire area was highly contaminated, but all warning signs had been removed and no personal protective equipment available. I was furious and left the site and went to see the Shell Senior Engineer and having raised an Incident Report he signed the document in agreement. I was so upset that I might have ingested or inhaled the radioactive particles as well as external skin contamination. Upon returning to the UK I discussed the incident with people more knowledgeable of the possible effects and they said it could not be certain if any damage was done or how long it would take to become evident. In July 2005 I had to have a heart pacemaker fitted for irregular heartbeat, this was due to the high stress and worry of the long term effects. Even today so many years later I am on daily medication The upshot of all this is that I have now had 7 procedures to remove skin lesions and in 2010 my young son was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) I did more research on this and I was told that the second highest cause could be if one or more parents had been exposed to excessive Radiation. My son was treated in the Bangkok Hospital in Thailand, however, after three years of treatment my son relapsed and died on 29th Nov 2013. I had paid a small fortune (my life savings) to try to save him and build a home and all that was gone... Shell have never offered to make amends and in fact AFPC requested that my employment be terminated as I was viewed as "a disruptive individual" I am now in Swansea (UK) destitute, living alone physically and emotionally destroyed and struggling to live while nobody seems to want to help me get justice from Royal Dutch Shell and make them accountable for the reckless manner to how the safety conditions were NOT IMPLEMENTED. I do have a host of documentation to back up my case and I have been advised by my Member of Parliament and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to pursue this issue due to the horrendous nature of the incident accompanied with the Duty of Care that “Shell” should have initiated to show that they are serious about protecting employees, contractors and joint venture personnel. I am however convinced that the Site Management in Syria whom I could mention tried to cover up the incident, therefore leaving the management in The Hague with no knowledge of the incident and the now long term effects it's had on my life I have several media companies that have said they are willing to “expose” this incident globally to ensure that The World can see and help prevent re-occurrences of a similar nature My wife and older son in Thailand have lost faith in me and in the way our Human Rights have been so badly abused by an EU major oil producer who “supposedly” pride themselves on safe working practices and environment conditions I would implore you to see what you can do to help me get justice and reasonable compensation and give my family a future, this is due to the fact that I am struggling to live and have a small family to support
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