A Vietnamese journalist was seriously poisoned by water from an old well in the Sahara Desert while on assignment in Algeria, claimed his employer, Nang Luong Moi newspaper .
Nguyen Nhu Phong, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper and its online affiliate, PetroTimes, allegedly washed his face and took a sip of water from a well in the town of Hassi Messaoud.
"He took water from 50 meters deep in the well to wash his face and took a sip. He spit it out after finding that it was as salty as seawater," PetroTimes reported.
His face, hands and skin that came into contact with the contaminated water swelled and he could not hold anything with his hands the following day, PetroTimes quoted an unnamed source as saying, without indicating which day the incident took place.
In a phone call to his editorial office, Phong said he "would really appreciate it if someone would come to chop off his head to relieve his pain."
Phong was on a trip organized by state-owned PetroVietnam and had visited its PVD-11 oil rig in the Sahara Desert about 130 kilometers from Hassi Messaoud Town and 100 km from the capital city of Algiers.
He visited the well on the way back from observing the rig.
Phong returned to Vietnam on June 30, but no more information is available.
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