Celisha Kurban, wife of Fyzal Kurban, speaks to OWTU branch president, Christopher Kurban. (Photo by RISHI RAGOONATH)
RADHICA DE SILVA
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Despite assurances from Energy Minister Stuart Young that there will be a thorough investigation into the deaths of four divers, the Pointe-a-Pierre branch president of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union, Christopher Jackman, is questioning why the OWTU is being excluded from the investigating team.

Speaking today with Guardian Media, Jackman said he was not satisfied with the Minister’s responses, which were consistent with the information given by Paria officials during their press conference on Sunday night.

“If he seeks to have an independent investigation, why not have the union?” Jackman asked.

He questioned why expert divers who were familiar with the line were not consulted.

He said contractor LMCS Limited could have raised the pipeline and cut it to free the trapped men.

“Why wasn’t this done? Why did they reinstall the riser cap without allowing the divers to attempt a rescue? Wouldn’t this have made it more difficult to mount a rescue?” Jackman said.

He explained that relatives of the men have not been consulted when important decisions are being made.

Paria officials went to the offshore platform on Monday morning to witness arrangements.

Once the arrangements are verified, a decision is expected to be taken to flush out the line.

A relative said it is insensitive to take this decision without consultation.

Relatives say if the line is flushed, it is uncertain whether the bodies will be intact.

Relatives have also said they have received no counselling, even though Paria announced on Sunday that counselling had been arranged.

Social activist Umar Abdullah has called on the TTPS to launch a criminal investigation into the matter.

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This is a developing story and Guardian Media will bring you more as details unfold.