Police officers at the entrance to the Petrotrin compound following the explosion at the Ni Quan plant on Wednesday 7th April 2021. (Image: RISHI RAGOONATH)

Opposition MP and Shadow Minister of Labour, Rudranath Indarsingh MP, is calling for a probe by the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA), into this morning’s fire and explosion at Niquan Energy’s Gas to Liquids Plant in Pointe-a-Pierre.

And the Couva South MP says both Minister of Energy Franklyn Khan and the Minister of Labour Stephen Mc Clashie “must ensure that there is a full suspension of all activities to save lives, protect limb and taxpayers’ investments”.

He also wants the ministers to reveal whether OSHA had any oversight at the Plant before its commissioning in March this year.

“Did the regulatory and oversight authorities and agencies turn a blind eye to the occupational health and safety risks which became obvious only a few days ago when erratic flares emanated from the said facility, because persons behind this plant are highly connected politically to persons in the current government?” MP Indarsingh stated in a release issued on the matter

“Minister Khan, through his Ministry as the regulator of this energy asset, must reveal whether there was rigid collaboration and sign off with the Ministry of Labour through OSHA before the formal opening of the plant,” he said.

According to the Couva South MP, there could have been serious repercussions had the Petrotrin Refinery still be in full operation while today’s explosion and fire occurred.

He also demands that government give an accounting “as to who are the primary movers and shakers behind this plant and what occurred, in the interest of good governance and transparency”.

MP Indarsingh also commended those agencies and first responders responsible for bringing the fire under control quickly.