Paria officials appear before Commission of Enquiry

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    A Paria manager insists the company took steps to get information from Christopher Boodram after his escape from the tragic incident in a pipeline in February this year.

    Technical and Maintenance Manager Michael Wei today took the stand at the Commission of Enquiry examining the deaths of four LMCS divers who were sucked into the pipeline during maintenance.

    Boodram, the lone survivor, swam and was pulled out of the line around 6pm and was allegedly contacted four hours later by Paria’s Incident Management Team.

    When questioned whether Paria tried to get information about the incident or potential rescue from the diver, Mr Wei insisted that, at the time he was pulled out, his health was of priority.

    Mr Wei was also asked about any efforts to rescue the four other divers who remained in the pipeline and he said LMCS was responsible for emergency response plans, with assistance from Paria.

    He explained that as part of the risk assessments it did was taking advice of expert divers who advised against entering the line.

    Counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj then asked Mr Wei whether he was aware that other divers were prepared enter the pipeline to rescue their four trapped colleagues without a risk assessment.

    Also coming up for discussions was the allegation that Paria instructed the Coast Guard to prevent divers from entering the pipe following the incident.

    Meanwhile, Paria’s Facilities Engineer Hassan Mohammed was today questioned on whether the company could have stopped the operation in which four divers died while conducting maintenance work in February.

    Earlier this week at the hearings, there were claims that LMCS wrongfully departed from Paria’s permit to work system which outlined the tasks to be done.

    Counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj asked Mr. Mohammed whether Paria could have halted the maintenance if it varied from the approved methodology.