RISHARD KHAN
[email protected]

The independent investigation is still ongoing into the February 16th blackout that plunged the entire island of Trinidad into darkness, and which lasted up to 12 hours in some parts of the country.

The update came from the head of the independent three-man committee appointed by the office of the Prime Minister, Professor Chandrabhan Sharma.

In a brief phone call, the retired electrical engineering professor told Guardian Media their work was still ongoing but was not at liberty to say when completion is expected.

The team was announced on February 23rd and was given one month to report their findings on the incident that triggered the blackout, and the country’s response to the event. If the committee was constituted on the date of the announcement, it leaves them just five days to furnish their report.

Alongside Sharma on the expert committee is Structural Engineer and retired UWI Lecture Keith Sirju, and acting Superintendent Allister Guevarro who is currently assigned to the Special Branch of the Police Service.

According to official reports from the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC), the blackout was triggered by a fault that developed around 12:50 pm on February 16th.  It reportedly caused two major transmission lines to trip—the Gandhi Village/Union Estate. The commission said this led to instability in its system, which caused the independent power providers’ generators to go down.

The commission also explained that the blackout lasted as long as it did because there were delays in getting the generators restarted.