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Rishi’s body identified by wife, Kussie – Trinidad & Tobago

She had prayed for a miracle—that her husband had somehow survived inside that 30-foot subsea pipeline.

But, at 12.36 a.m. yesterday, Vanessa Kussie ­received a call that the body of her beloved husband had been recovered.

Read: Body of man stuck in Paria pipeline recovered- Trinidad

She was not asleep. Kussie was cradling their three-year-old son in her arms when Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd contacted her.

Rishi Nagassar, 48, had been entombed, lodged behind a piece of equipment 60 feet below the surface and more than 100 feet into the pipeline.

His was the last body to be retrieved. The bodies of his colleagues, Fyzal Kurban, Yusuff Henry and Kazim Ali Jr, were recovered at nightfall on Monday. Kurban, 57, was the lead diver.

Nagassar’s body had been inside that pipeline for 130 hours.

How long was he alive after he was sucked inside, and the torture he endured, will forever be on their minds, his relatives said.

Kussie went to the Forensic Science Centre, Federation Park, yesterday where she identified her husband’s remains. She emerged in tears, trembling and weakened by what she had seen.

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Family friend Anjanie Benjamin said Kussie identified her husband’s body.

She said Nagassar’s three-year-old son was waiting for his daddy to come home. “He is still expecting to see his father. He took out all the toys his father bought for him and playing with it. The family did not keep Rishi’s vehicle on the compound, to protect his son. They said even when he is half asleep and he hears that van coming in, he will wake up to see his daddy. That is the cruelty of what we have experienced,” she said.

Benjamin said the family was disappointed that no attempt was made to rescue the four divers on ­Saturday.

“We have been speaking with experienced divers and they are saying that the chances of these men being alive on Saturday were super high. This saddens everyone. It has touched us all,” she said.

The divers were conducting underwater maintenance on the pipeline at No 36 Sealine riser on Berth No 6 at the Paria facility. They were in an LMCS hyperbaric chamber when an incident occurred.

Berth 6 is the main crude discharge berth at the facility. This means the crude oil produced by Heritage Petroleum is transported to the Pointe-a-Pierre facility and then pumped via a subsea pipeline to the berths, where it is then transferred to the vessels to export.

A company official confirmed Berth 6 has been stalled since the incident last Friday. He was uncertain how long the facility would be shut down.

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The Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) has demanded that the site be shut down, pending an investigation into the ­incident.

Rishi’s body found | Local News | trinidadexpress.com  Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers

Also read: OWTU McLeod comments on Paria pipeline tragedy


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By Cleo

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