Diver Christopher Boodram, the lone survivor of the Paria pipeline tragedy, is recuperating well, five days after he was pulled out of a 30-inch diameter pipeline in which four of his colleagues died.
Guardian Media visited the family at their Pointe-a-Pierre home yesterday and a female relative confirmed that he was stable.
Asked whether Boodram knew that Rishi Nagassar’s body had been recovered, the relative said the family did not want to issue any media statements.
She said Boodram was outspoken and when he was ready to talk, he will disclose all the details of the tragedy.
Another relative who requested anonymity told Guardian Media that they were advised by their attorneys to be cautious about what they said in the public domain.
Every night since the tragedy occurred, residents of Isaac Trace, Pointe-a-Pierre have been lighting candles on the side of the Southern Main Road, near Flower Pot Beach, in memory of the four dead divers.
Boodram is well-loved in his community and has been passionate about diving.
He is resting at a private hospital and his relatives have been in close touch with Paria officials.
Meanwhile, relatives of Kazim Ali Jr, aka Bean, announced that they no longer wanted any gatherings or wake at his residence with immediate effect.
Asking everyone to respect their wishes, the family announcement stated, “Please be advised that the funeral will be a private event. There will however be a memorial service in the near future and everyone will be informed via appropriate channels when the time is appropriate.”
The family also thanked everyone who has expressed their sympathies.
Meanwhile, former Minister of Energy Kevin Ramnarine said it was important to investigate whether critical functions once handled by Petrotrin were now being contracted.
“Any investigation needs to determine whether Paria breached its duty of care to the divers. To date, we have not heard from anyone in authority what caused the pressure differential that pulled the divers into the pipeline. The investigations by the Ministry of Energy team and the OSH agency team has to get an understanding of that. With regard to fairness, I think having persons on the investigating team outside of the radius of the Government is important but we must look out for potential conflicts of interests.”
He added, “It should be noted too that the OSH Act creates the offence of causing death or critical injury to another person at work. The fines and imprisonment term for these offences are however minor. We need an overhaul of the OSH Act and something along the lines of the Corporate Manslaughter Act of the UK needs to be introduced into our laws.”
Yesterday, Minister of Energy Stuart Young announced that a five-member committee will be appointed next week to probe the tragedy.
The committee will have 45 days to present a report.
The team comprises of attorney at law Shiv Sharma, who will serve as its chairman, Gregory Wilson, who holds 25 years experience in the oil and gas industry and is a professional sub-sea specialist with first-hand experience in deep-water diving, Eugene Tiah, who recently retired as executive chairman, Energy and Industrial Gases Business Unit Massy Energy, and a representative each from British Petroleum (BP) and Shell.