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Press Release
Date: November 20, 1997

Typhoon Linda which flattened homes and killed a number of people
in its wake in southern Thailand, has substantially damaged an
underwater section of the Yadana gas pipeline and damaged two
ships that were laying the pipeline for the French oil giant
According to local people who recently crossed the border into
Thailand, the typhoon which passed through Burmese waters in
early November cut loose some underwater sections of the
pipeline. Some 22 people on board the two ships sustained
injuries, some serious, including four foreign engineers.
According to the sources, the four engineers were sent to a
hospital in Rangoon. 
The typhoon destroyed most of the deck on both ships, and a
helipad on one ship was rendered useless. Some of the 36-inch
pipeline piled up on the ships' decks was also blown away by the
The damage to the pipeline and the ships has not been revealed by
either Total or the Burmese military regime. It is understood
that if the typhoon had hit while gas was flowing through the
pipeline the damage would have been enormous. 
The two damaged ships are owned by an Italian company known as
SAIPEM which won the contract to lay the pipeline for the
project. A 63 kilometre onshore stretch of the pipeline laid by
Total, from the shoreline to the Thai-Burma border, has already
been completed. 
According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between SLORC
(SPDC), Total and the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTTEP),
the gas is supposed to be transported to Thailand from July 1,
The company Total estimated that the laying of the 346 kilometre
offshore pipeline would be finished by the end of this month.
However, it is understood that because of Typhoon Linda, the
laying of the pipeline is unlikely to be completed on time.    
There have been delays to the project on the Thai side of the
border because of repeated protests by the local community and
environmental groups who are concerned about the impact of the
All Burma Students' Democratic Front 
For more information please call 01-923 1687 or 01-654 4984.