First shale gas explorations in Romania met with sit-in protests

Several hundred people, mostly villagers, formed a human chain to prevent US company Chevron from installing its first prospecting well near the village of Pungesti, in the Vaslui County, in eastern Romania.

Authorities mobilised about 200 gendarmes to cope with the growing number of protesters who also set up tents. Protesters knelt in front of the gendarmes, holding hands and forming a human chain to prevent the company to install the drilling equipment.

Several protesters scuffled with the police after trying to break the security cordon and allow other protesters to join after the gendarmes sealed the area. Several demonstrators needed medical assistance.

The villagers, who have started the protest three days ago, warned they would give up whatever it takes to prevent the exploration to start. On the other side, authorities said they would resort to force if necessary.

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(Photo: wcn247/