Kamla: Lock down Paria Berth 6

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has called on the police to “lock-down” Paria Berth 6 where the four divers died.

Speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) virtual meeting on Monday night, Persad-Bissessar said she is told that Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd has restarted works in this same location, while the committee appointed to probe the diving incident has not even begun its work as it is not fully constituted.

Read LMCS says it could have saved divers lost in Paria pipeline

She asked whether Paria has hired a dive company by the name of Hull Support Services Ltd to continue work on the pipeline where this incident happened.

She said her information is that Hull Support Services Ltd conducted an orientation/safety meeting on Sunday to commence work or diving operations on the pipeline.

“Is it true that Paria is in a race right now to commission or put the pipeline back into service? Since Friday (February) 25th when Paria became aware of the horrific accident why wasn’t an ‘ALL STOP’ called and the ­police called in immediately?” she asked.

“I am calling on the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) and the Commissioner of Police, the TTPS to get into this investigation to lock down what could be possible evidence to avoid contamination of evidence, tampering of evidence,” she added.

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Persad-Bissessar said this could be a case of involuntary homicide or it could be deliberate homicide. “We don’t know, that is what the investigation will tell us and that is why you must preserve the evidence,” she said.

Crime scene and cover-up

Persad-Bissessar questioned whether Paria had conducted a proper safety analysis for this job, which is a standard procedure every morning before work starts.

She questioned why has Paria not cordoned off the Sealine of what has become, in her view, a “crime scene” and whether there was an attempt to cover up.

She also questioned whether Shell and BP were asked beforehand whether they would agree to nominate representatives to sit on the investigative committee before it was announced by Energy Minister Stuart Young last week.

“I want to ask tonight if it is true that the head executive of these companies, not based in Trinidad, their real bosses, whether they have refused to serve on the committee. Tell us whether they agreed and the question will arise how could you say their representatives will sit on the committee without asking them first,” she said.

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Persad-Bissessar said it was “frightening” that the committee has not started its work.

She pointed out that the Opposition, from day one, had noted that Shell and BP are ­clients of the State and owe their licence and contracts to the State.

“Everything they get, they owe it to the Government. Therefore they cannot be independent in this investigative committee. I won’t say they ‘eat a food’, but they owe their livelihoods, their business to Government ­action,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said over the years the Rowley Government has appointed 37 committees to investigate numerous issues, and nothing came out of them.

Kamla: Lock down Berth 6  Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers

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