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Couva Children’s hospital tower collapses

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Shortly after Government announced plans to open the Couva Children’s Hospital, part of it came crashing down on Sunday night.

The collapse of the hospital’s cooling tower occurred mere days after part of the Solomon Hochoy Highway, in front the US$150 million (TT$975m), facility also caved in.

The damage to the building, which is built in close proximity to the earthquake prone Central Range fault line, was confirmed by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday. Although he did not visit the facility, Deyalsingh said he was awaiting a report from the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Udecott) about the issue.

Saying the tower collapsed sometime on Sunday night, Deyalsingh said Udecott officials did a site visit and he was awaiting a report to see the extent of damages.

“I have no answers as to what caused this. Once I get the report back I will be able to give more details,” Deyalsingh added.

He said he planned to take a note to Cabinet this week regarding the opening of the hospital which has state-of-the-art MRI, CT Scanners, 230 beds lying idle.

Asked whether the collapse of the tower will affect the planned opening, Deyalsingh said he could not say.

In an immediate response, Chairman of the National Building Code Committee Shyankaran Lalla yesterday questioned why the tower collapsed a mere two years after construction.

“Where is the structural engineering report commissioned by the PP government and why are they hiding it from the public? The Government must tell us the truth,” Lalla said