Distressed family members of the missing divers wait in the car park at Paria Fuel Trading Company in Pointe-a Pierre, for any information yesterday.

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Opposition chief whip and MP for Point-a-Pierre, David Lee, is calling on the management of Paria Fuel Trading Company and the Government to treat the distraught relatives of the missing divers humanely and with dignity.

His call came at an Opposition news conference yesterday as he said relatives are being kept in the dark and have been camping outside the company’s gates in Point-a-Pierre since the incident, hoping for news and answers.

“They are in a bus shed, they have no facilities and I think that is very cruel and vile of this government… especially after Minister (Stuart) Young went down in Paria, in the facility, approximately 1 pm on Saturday to meet with the families to have a discussion with the families and you leave the families in that state outside the compound in a bus shed, overnight, in the dew without any food, any toilet facilities or any care and concern for the families out there,” he said.

He said this “should have never happened.”

At the very least, he said, the families should have been placed inside of the many buildings and offices on the compound “and treat them like human beings”.

“Because these are families, these are loved ones waiting on some good news at any time from the management of Paria and it is heartless and cruel and wicked that you are subjecting the families to that kind of torture,” he said.

He said while the families were offered counselling, they have not yet received any.

Lee said the executive of the company and Minister of Energy and Energy Industry have been noticeably silent during the incident.

Lee also called for an independent investigation to be launched not only into the cause of the incident but on why the company was unable to rescue the men immediately after.

“As each minute passes, as each hour passes, the chances of recovery it diminishes. And I have to ask the question, what happened in the first eight to 10 hours when that tragedy took place – between 3 pm when the tragedy took place to approximately 10, 11 or midnight of Friday. From what I understand, is that a lot of inaction took place in the first 12 hours,” he said.

A statement from Paria said that at around 3 pm Friday, five divers employed with LMCS Ltd were conducting an underwater maintenance exercise at No 36 Sealine Riser on Berth #6 at Paria Trading Company Limited when the incident occurred and they lost sight of the men who were being monitored from onshore.

It added that incident management protocols at Paria were immediately triggered in accordance with established standards.

One of the divers, Christopher Boodram was rescued and is warded in a stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital.

The divers, still unaccounted for, are Kazim Ali Jnr; Rishi Nagessar, 48, of Couva; Fyzal Kurban, 57, of Claxton Bay; and Yusuf Henry, 31, of Sangre Grande.