Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez wants corporation employees to act more diligently in a bid to prevent what occurred on Monday when a huge tree fell on two people, resulting in them being hospitalised.
The mayor was speaking to the Trinidad Guardian at Woodford Square yesterday, a day after a Venezuelan couple was injured in the incident.
On Tuesday the square was closed to the public as officials from the Port-of-Spain City Corporation conducted assessments on the fallen tree and others. Martinez explained that this was being done because: “other trees may be at risk of falling.”
The two Venezuelan nationals have been identified as Jairo Jose Fontt Acosta, 22, and Yullanis Perez, 20, they are still being treated at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
“From yesterday to today, they were still conducting tests, the injuries appear to be serious but not life-threatening,” Martinez said.
He said, “I will reach out to the couple as soon as we are allowed to speak to them. From what I understand they are still in accident and emergency and they are undergoing tests so I don’t want to disturb that as yet. I was to go on Monday afternoon but the CEO of the corporation went and she was able to give me an idea of the extent as to what was taking place and she was unable to give the extent of their injuries.”
Martinez said Monday’s incident was not the first time that a tree had fallen in the capital city’s most famous square. The difference he said is that in the past no one was injured.
The POS Mayor said yesterday’s incident highlights the need for proper maintenance.
“This tells us that the trees must be checked more regularly.”
Mayor Martinez said, “We have written the Ministry of Agriculture Horticultural division for assistance with the trees recently and we had a discussion of pruning the trees to fall with the opening of the red house and update the lighting at Woodford square. It’s a mixture of maintenance and testing, these trees are over 50 years old, trees like human are affected by nature and test, the tree that fell was affected by wood ants and the tree will stand there and look upright with no signs of falling or rot”.
Martinez said the corporation has persons to examine the trees and cautioned that the corporation’s employees should not react only when something happens.
“You want to instil in the corporation employees and the process that they can actually do their job diligently and situations like this no longer exist, you don’t want to put people who utilize the square at peril, more and more people will be using the square as it soon will become a wifi zone and especially will carnival events carded for the square it will be a focal point”, he noted.
Woodford Square is expected to reopen its gates to the public today.