Paria: Compensation talks for divers’ families ongoing

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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

PARIA Fuel Trading Company Ltd (Paria) has said it is in discussions with attorneys representing the families of the Land and Marine Construction Services Ltd divers (LCM) who submitted claims for compensation after their relatives drowned.

The company said in a media release sent on May 22 it is looking into “all available options” to support the families.

It said the company has not spoken directly with the families and describes the compensation negotiations as an “ongoing process.” It says the company is “acutely aware” of the pain, grief and financial hardship suffered by the families.

On February 25, 2022, divers Fyzal Kurban, Kazim Ali Jr, Rishi Nagassar, Yusuf Henry and Christopher Boodram were sucked into a pipeline.

This was caused by a vortex created by a sharp difference in water pressure, known as a Delta P.

The men were doing maintenance work at Paria’s Berth 6.

Only Boodram survived.

The release said the process requires a “considered and balanced approach,” which requires taking into account all stakeholders, including LMCS, as well as factoring in insurance considerations.

The release said to “deviate from that process would not assist any interested parties” but would “more than likely lead to a delay in finding a resolution.”

The release ended by saying Paria and its insurers “remain committed to finding a way forward as swiftly and fairly as possible.”

On November 29, 2023, attorney Prakash Ramadhar, who is representing some of the families, appealed to the government for ex-gratia payments to all the families affected by the tragedy.

He called the process obscene and absurd, saying none of the families has been paid “a single cent.”

Ramadhar said the affected families have children who attend school without a father or a breadwinner in the home.