Families of deceased divers to get their say before CoE

Home*Cover Story*News

Families of deceased divers to get their say before CoE

Chairman of the Commission of Enquiry into the Paria tragedy, King’s Counsel, Jerome Lynch said he will be allowing the families of the four divers to give statements.

The four men, Kazim Ali Junior, Fyzal Kurban, Yusuf Henry and Rishi Nagassar, died when they were sucked into a 30-inch Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited pipeline at the company’s Berth 6 in Pointe-a-Pierre.
A fifth diver, Christopher Boodram, managed to escape.

During the resumption of the CoE on Wednesday, Lynch said family members will be allowed to speak about their experiences while they were waiting to hear whether their loved ones would be rescued.
However, he said they will not be allowed to “point fingers” or cast blame on anyone for the accident during their statements.

“I have scheduled in a number of family members who have indicated that they wish to give evidence live… I encourage those who are directly affected by the outcome of this enquiry and those who are the close relatives of the victims of this tragedy to consider giving evidence. I want them to understand that we, the Commission, would regard that as important evidence,” Lynch said.

Two relatives have already been scheduled to give their statements on January 10.

Lynch said he will not allow them to be cross-examined, adding: “They should feel completely at ease to say that which they want to say, what weight we give it is a matter for us…

He also said the commission will have two extra days of sittings on February 23 and 24.

Lynch said this will accommodate the commissioners being able to view the hyperbaric chamber or habitat which the divers used to conduct underwater works on Paria’s lines.

Closing statements will begin on January 11 and continue until January 13, with Paria and LMCS being allowed to give their statements after attorneys for the other parties.