Trinidad Blames Diver Deaths on Fuel Company

( – An official inquiry by the government of Trinidad and Tobago into the accidental deaths of four construction workers who were working under water on a pipeline revealed that the company responsible for the work made little to no attempt to rescue the men after it became clear they had become trapped and needed help.

The investigation slammed Paria Fuel Trading Company for the deaths of four men in February 2022. A fifth man survived the ordeal and was able to recount the details of the accident to the commission.

Officials said Paria prevented commercial divers from being deployed to rescue the men who had become stuck. They also alleged Paria wasted hours searching the surface well aware of the possibility that the men could have been stuck inside the pipe they were working on. They also suggested Paria dragged its feet getting a camera into the pipeline and failed to consult with commercial divers who were available locally.

The report suggested the company “made little or no attempt” to save the men and failed to coordinate resources that were available at the time. They called the response by Paria officials confusing given that every second mattered and implied that Paria had wasted significant amounts of time.

Ultimately the commission suggested there was sufficient evidence to make formal criminal charges against the company, including gross negligence. Paria officials told reporters with the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian that they wouldn’t be giving a comment publicly. The authors from that article suggested that the corporate manslaughter and negligence charges won’t result in any prison terms for those responsible.

Opposition member of the island’s parliament, Saddam Hosein, told the press gathered on Sunday January 21st that the government should prosecute the individuals criminally and sufficiently compensate the sole survivor.

Hosein said “heads must roll” and suggested Paria officials can’t be allowed to “escape” or otherwise get away without accountability. Hosein called for the entire board to be fired. He also suggested legislative changes should be made that would allow a broader criminal prosecution of the officials involved.

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