Autopsy confirms diver Henry died by drowning

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The five divers employed by a private company hired by Paria Trading Co Ltd to do maintenance work on a 36-inch pipeline in one of the last photos taken at Pointe-a-Pierre on Friday. From left are, Christopher Boodram, who survived, Kazim Ali Jr, Yusuf Henry, Rishi Nagassar and Fyzal Kurban. –

An autopsy has confirmed that diver Yusuf Henry died by drowning while trapped inside a 30-inch underwater pipeline at the Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd in Pointe-a-Pierre last Friday.

Newsday understands the autopsies on two other divers, Kazim Ali and Fyzal Kurban, were also expected to be done on Thursday, but no results were forthcoming up to press time.

The body of Rishi Nagassar was found by officials on Wednesday night. His body was swabbed for covid19 testing and is at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, where an autopsy will be done on Monday.

Speaking with reporters after receiving the post-mortem results at the centre on Thursday, Henry’s father Joseph Henry said he was still disturbed by the circumstances of his son’s death, but the results have brought him one step closer to closure.

He maintained that several questions were unanswered.

“The satisfaction comes in stages.

“This part of the process, now that the autopsy is done is good, but the mismanagement on the part of the company that caused these guys to die still needs to be resolved, because it’s heart-wrenching.”

Henry also criticised Paria Fuel Trading, as he felt it could have done more not only to rescue the divers but also to support their relatives.

He said he was heartened by the support offered by the public, and also hoped workers could learn from the tragedy and stand against negligence in the workplace.

“When people are in despair and distressing, don’t just stay home and say you’re feeling it too – come together and show the people with no heart that we are here for each other.

“We are here because five divers were placed in a dangerous situation. I’m not saying who is to blame, but I’m a petty contractor, and if something goes wrong on the work, I and only I am to blame.”

Henry also called on the Prime Minister to come forward and speak on the issue.

“You are the father of this country, I am the father of my family.

“If anything goes wrong with my family I feel it. So if anything goes wrong with this country, you’re supposed to be feeling it, and if you’re not feeling, it you’re not a father. You’re just there as a father figure like some deadbeat father, because you’re not coming out and talking or defending the helpless.”

Henry said he and other relatives have had a hard time trying to explain his son’s death to his seven-year-old granddaughter and ten-year-old grandson.