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OIL SPILL

BP shareholders call for Svanberg’s head: report

Several major BP shareholders are urging the embattled firm to eject Swedish chairman Carl Henric Svanberg as soon as the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is capped, the Financial Times reports.

BP shareholders call for Svanberg’s head: report

Citing sources close to the group, the newspaper said Svanberg had provoked “very mixed” reactions at meetings held last week.

“Mr Svanberg does not command the total support of shareholders. There are a lot of shareholders who would be happier to see Mr Svanberg go first,” said one investor.

Leading shareholders castigated Svanberg for displaying a lack of leadership

throughout the crisis and for failing to give his full backing to chief executive Tony Hayward. While Hayward enjoys more support among top shareholders, he too is likely to be replaced once the worst of the crisis has subsided, the newspaper reports.

Svanberg made international headlines in mid-June after comments in a White House press conference were interpreted as patronizing towards the people immediately affected by the catastrophe.

“We care about the small people. I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies who don’t care, but that is not the case with BP, we care about the small people,” Svanberg said at the time.

The comments were cited all over the US media as indication of a patronizing attitude towards all of the small business owners and fisherman whose livelihoods were hit by the Mexican Gulf oil spill.

BP was later keen to stress that English was not Svanberg’s first language and that the true meaning of his choice of words had been lost in the translation. The Swede later apologised for the use of the phrase which he conceded was clumsy.

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ACCIDENT

Oil spill cleanup after train hits garbage bin

Several hundred litres of oil leaked out of a commuter train in Lerum outside Gothenburg after it drove over a garbage bin that police suspect could have been deliberately placed on the tracks.

Oil spill cleanup after train hits garbage bin

According to the emergency services in Gothenburg, between 500 and 600 litres of oil spilled from the train after it hit an object in the early hours of Sunday.

“We are on the ground working with a decontamination firm,” Lars Jostelius of the emergency services told local newspaper Göteborgs Posten (GP) on Sunday morning.

Initially, local police did not want to specify what kind of object it was, but said they were not ruling out sabotage. In other words, one person or a group of people could have deliberately placed the object on the tracks.

The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) later confirmed that the object was a garbage bin.

Incidents where an object is placed on train tracks are labelled “infrastructure sabotage” by the Transport Administration.

The fact that someone could have deliberately placed the garbage bin on the tracks is regarded as very serious, said the Transport Administration.

“There could be serious accidents and there are costs involved for society when a train is stalled and has to be repaired,” Bodil Sonesson, a Swedish Transport Administration spokeswoman, told news agency TT.

There were no passengers on board the train when it hit the garbage bin and no reported injuries.

The train traffic was confined to a single track while the leaking train was being removed in an extensive cleanup operation.

This led to delays of between 10 and 15 minutes up until lunchtime on Sunday.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

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