by Kevon Felmine (Trinidad Guardian) While the Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd and LMCS argued to absolve themselves of wrongdoing in the deaths of four divers yesterday, expert reports presented at the Commission of Enquiry (CoE) into the Paria/LMCS Diving Tragedy revealed deficiencies in the process and operations of both entities.
Presenting reports from investigations into the February 25 incident at Paria’s offshore facility in Pointe-Pierre, CoE counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC, revealed that diving gear and competencies were inadequate when five LMCS divers reported for duty.On February 25, Fyzal Kurban, Kazim Ali Jr, Yusuf Henry, Rishi Nagassar and Christopher Boodram were engaged in subsea repairs on Paria’s 30-inch diameter Sealine 36 pipeline.
It is believed a Differential Pressure (Delta P) incident occurred, which led to the death of Kurban, Ali, Henry and Ali. Boodram is the only survivor and eyewitness.
Paria initially contracted LMCS for the work on Berth 6 at the Pointe-a-Pierre harbour, where the divers got sucked into the pipeline. The divers were working inside a cubed 8×8 feet enclosure known as a habitat, positioned over the pipeline and supplied with positive pressured air from a compressor. It permits divers to carry out underwater work in a water-free environment.
Following the Delta P incident shortly after noon, Boodram crawled through the pipeline to Berth 6, where Ronald Ramoutar and Corey Crawford rescued him.
He reported to his rescuers that the others were alive in the pipeline, and Kurban was just behind him. However, the four other divers remained in the pipeline and were never rescued.