11 May 2009

Violence at Papua New Guinea nickel mine - three Chinese workers hurt by mob

1:59 pm on 11 May 2009

Simmering tensions remain at the Ramu-nickel mine in Papua New Guinea after three Chinese workers were hospitalised after being critically injured in a violent rampage.

Construction of the Chinese government-run mine has stopped following the fight at the Basamuk Bay refinery site in Madang Province.

The three workers needed to be airlifted to Port Moresby while heavily armed police reinforcements were deployed to the site.

PNG's newspapers report angry PNG workers attacked Chinese staff and went on a rampage destroying property including accommodation blocks and 30 cars.

The papers report violence was sparked by a rumour a PNG national had died on the way to hospital after being being injured by a tractor.

A Ramu management spokesman, Wu Xuefeng, says the situation at the mine site remains tense, and he has called on the government and police to fully investigate the incident and to promptly restore law and order.