Several workers based at the Government Campus Plaza in the Ministry of Finance’s Inland Revenue Division, Immigration Division and the Customs and Excise Division in Port-of-Spain were evacuated shortly after 11 am Monday after there was a reported gas leak on the compound near the Inland Revenue Division.

Minister of National Security Stuart Young confirmed the incident during Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s COVID-19 media briefing to the country.

When Guardian Media arrived at the campus about ten minutes later, most of the workers had already left the and the area in question was cordoned off with yellow caution tape as two workers from the National Gas Company (NGC) were working to fix the problem.

Just a stone’s throw away from the gas leak, at the corner of Richmond Street and Independence Square, there was a beehive of activity as workers of the Unit Trust Corporation were asked to evacuate their building as a precautionary measure when fire officials arrived at the building.

UTC’s Executive Director Nigel Edwards spoke to Guardian Media shortly after workers were allowed to re-enter the building.

“We heard some reports of there being a leak the immigration office and it’s like a 150 metres away from the Unit Trust Corporation.

“We understood it was a gas leak and even though the reports were unconfirmed they were credible. We took the precaution of evacuating our building because of the proximity, we thought it most prudent to evacuate our staff and unitholders,” Edwards explained.

Edwards said after the all-clear was given about 15 minutes later the 40-odd employees of the UTC were allowed back in the building.

The Government Campus Plaza offices were later closed for the day and all employees sent home according to a senior immigration source.

Reporter: Mark Bassant