Late Massy Energy worker’s sister agrees with CoE on financial assistance

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The four LMCS divers who died after an accident at Paria Fuel Trading Company Ltd’s Pointe-a-Pierre facility in February 2022. From left are Kazim Ali Jnr, Yusuf Henry, Rishi Nagassar and Fyzal Kurban. –

RUTHLANE Ramkissoon-Gobin, the sister of late Massy Energy worker Allanlane Ramkissoon, says she agrees with the suggestion made in the Paria Commission of Enquiry (CoE) report that the families of those who die owing to industrial accidents should get financial assistance.

In addition, she thinks compensation should also be mandatory.

Last June, Ramkissoon, a pipefitter, was burned while working at NiQuan’s gas-to-liquids plant in Pointe-a-Pierre. He died three days later in Colombia, where he was being treated.

Massy covered wake and funeral expenses but Ramkissoon-Gobin said the family is still waiting for answers.

In a phone interview with Newsday on Sunday, she said people must be held accountable for such accidents, adding that her family is still struggling to come to terms with the loss and the circumstances behind it. “We still haven’t got a report and still don’t know exactly what happened. “It is unfair and it is really hard for us to comprehend, to accept…It’s really hard because our family is really close and he was one of the strong ones who would keep us going.”

Her comments came after the Paria CoE report was laid in Parliament on Friday.

The report said the families of those victims were not well treated both during the incident and in the aftermath.

On February 25, 2022, five workers – Christopher Boodram, Kazim Ali Junior, Fyzal Kurban, Yusuf Henry and Rishi Nagassar – were repairing a 30-inch pipeline at Pointe-a-Pierre but were sucked in. Only Boodram escaped and later recounted the tragedy to the commission.

One of the suggestions made in the report is: “In situations where families have had their loved ones and breadwinners snatched away from them in circumstances such as these, or any tragedy, real consideration needs to be given to assisting the families in the immediate aftermath of the incident to help them with the financial burden that they have been catapulted into. “This does not have to involve any admission of liability, merely the recognition that the families of those who have died or been seriously injured may need help,” the report said.

Ramkissoon-Gobin said she agrees with this but that there should also be compensation.

“It (compensation) should be mandatory in instances like these.

“My parents were dependent on him a lot. He would organise all their (medical) appointments, he started to help fixing the home, he was making a driveway for our mom because she has (some difficulty) walking, dad cannot see so well…”

Section 10(c) of the Industrial Relations Act says the court can “…without prejudice…award compensation on complaints brought and proved before it by a party for whose benefit the order or award was made regarding any breach or non-observance of an order or award of any term thereof (other than an order or award for the payment of damages or compensation).”

Asked what was the last update she got, she said the family has not been getting feedback.

“We haven’t heard anything from anyone other than what we see or hear in the newspaper or the TV. No one is contacting us.”