The bodies of three of the four divers who were stuck in a Paria Fuel Trading Company pipe have been recovered.
Paria made the announcement yesterday afternoon after informing family members.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the recovery of the bodies of three of the four divers who went missing on February 25, 2022. The bodies of these three missing divers were recovered today (February 28, 2022) around 5.55 pm,” the company said.
It added that attempts to retrieve the fourth body were still ongoing.
The company said it was joining the families in mourning their loss “and is continuing to provide support and counselling as they deal with this profound loss.”
“No effort was spared in the attempts to treat the bodies with the utmost respect during the recovery operation. A full investigation into the incident will be undertaken to understand the root cause of the incident,” Paria added.
As news of the deaths of four divers became a reality, the Paria car park in Pointe-a-Pierre became filled with wails of anguish last night.
Diver Rishi Nagessar’s elderly relative had to be placed on a chair as he went limp with grief.
“Oh gosh Rishi, you gone boy. Just Saturday you come by the house,” the elderly man bawled.
A female relative of Yusef Henry began shouting, “I fed up. I don’t want to see anybody. Is answers we want.”
A security from Paria Fuel Trading Company Ltd asks family members of the missing divers to move from the entrance of the compound after they tried to storm the compound yesterday.
KRISTIAN DE SILVA
In the darkness of the car park, tears flowed freely. One woman sat on the tray of a van sobbing loudly.
Branch president of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union Christopher Jackman told Guardian Media at 7 pm that three of the four bodies had been retrieved. The bodies were reportedly covered with oil and were lying on a Coast Guard vessel.
Jackman went to the clusters of relatives who gathered in the car park and invited them to a location to view the bodies.
A heaviness hung in the air and even social media activists who had been with the family since the disappearance cried.
Around 5 pm, the president of the First Wave Movement Umar Abdulah attempted to control a mob of anguished relatives who tried to storm into Paria’s compound.
They pushed through the gates demanding that Paria official meets with them to provide updates.
“It’s three days we waiting,” the wife of Yusuff Henry cried.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley later issued a statement confirming the deaths.
“Even as we prayed and hoped for a miracle, it was not to be. In this period of great loss and deep trauma for all the families and the national community, I extend sincerest condolences to all their loved ones,” Dr Rowley said.
He added, “I want to give the assurance to the families that nothing will stand in the way of determining how this tragedy occurred.”
Vehicles bearing the bodies of the dead divers leave the compound of Paria Fuel Trading Company in Pointe-a-Pierre last night.
The Prime Minister also said, “I also want to commit to them that all that has to be done by Paria and its associates in this matter will be professionally executed starting with the already announced independent investigation involving the best professional and technical expertise available to the country.”
“It is in times like these that we are called upon to be caring and comforting and I have every confidence that our nation will not be found wanting,” Dr Rowley said.
However, relatives of the dead divers say they will seek legal recourse.