Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 21st 2014 Contents A6
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 21, 2014
Fire has claimed the life of a
five-year-old Arouca girl.
Though Arouca CID is still
investigating the cause of the blaze
at Smith Street, reports are that
just after 7 am yesterday, young
Kimberly Williams grandmother
Diane Pantin left her in the care
of her two older siblings, ages 11
Pantin left the children at home
and went off to deliver food to a
relative in the hospital. Police said
that about 7.15 am neighbours saw
the house ablaze and contacted
the fire department.
It was only when the grand-
mother returned that she notified
the officers that Kimberly was not
A subsequent search then led
to the discovery of her charred
D'Abadie dad to death
In another tragic incident, a 19-
year-old man is now in police cus-
tody for allegedly killing a
D Abadie dad.
Police reports are that neigh-
bours near the Reid Lane, home
heard 46-year-old Derek Small in
a fight with the teenager.
Eyewitnesses said the young
man stabbed Small several times
with a kitchen knife. Small then
slumped to the ground.
Police investigating the murder
said that the young man was only
recently released from prison.
A caution tape left by police investigators at the scene of an early morning fire
which claimed the life of five-year-old Kimberly Williams of, Smith Street, Arouca
Tunapuna regional corporation employee Keon Charles unloads mattresses from a disaster management unit
as the corporation donated emergency supplies to the victims of an early morning fire which claimed the
life of five-year-old Kimberly Williams of, Smith Street, Arouca yesterday. PHOTOS: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Arouca girl, 5, dies in fire
The controversial $26 million
Las Alturas towers which were
demolished due to structural
problems are now engaging the
attention of Attorney General
This was revealed by Housing
Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal, who
said they were looking at the legal
options available to the Govern-
ment and the Ministry of Hous-
On Thursday, Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar called for
a commission of enquiry into the
construction of Las Alturas hous-
ing project, after raising concerns
about the two towers valued $26
million, which had to be demol-
Persad-Bissessar said Dr Keith
Rowley, who was a former housing
minister under the PNM, as well
as Emily Gaynor Dick-Forde, who
succeeded him, have distanced
themselves from blame.
Rowley has welcomed the probe,
but said it would be another waste
of millions of taxpayers dollars.
Dick-Forde, in a Guardian arti-
cle yesterday, claimed that when
the contract for the second phase
of Las Alturas was signed between
the Housing Development Cor-
poration (HDC) and China Jiangsu
International Corp (CJIC), she was
However, last week, in an inter-
view with the Sunday Guardian,
Dick-Forde had indicated that she
did "not know anything at all
about that building and had no
recollection of ever approaching
Cabinet for that project." She also
said when she took over HDC from
Rowley, she inherited "a mess."
Seigonie Mohammed, CNC3 s
weather anchor who fainted during
live broadcast on Friday, has been
discharged from hospital.
According to a statement issued by
the station yesterday, doctors said
Mohammed s collapse was caused by
over-exertion. All tests conducted on
her have revealed good results.
Mohammed has been ordered to
rest over the next couple of days.
She plans to return to work as soon
as she is able. Mohammed said, "Tell
everyone that I am okay."
It was obvious to many that
Mohammed was not her usual bubbly
self when she began Friday s weather
forecast. About a minute into the pres-
entation, she stopped, swallowed, put
her hand to her chest and fell to the
floor. The screen went dark, followed
by a series of commercials.
The news returned with a shot of
the two main anchors behind the news
desk. Anchor Golda Lee Bruce
explained that while Mohammed was
receiving medical attention, they con-
tinued with the news.
"Behind the scenes, the usually quiet
and empty studio was a full house.
This, as colleagues and paramedics
worked to ensure that Seigonie was
stable before taking her to the ambu-
lance. CNC3 s executive producer
Sampson Nanton, head of news Ros-
marie Sant and Guardian Media Ltd s
CEO Lisa Agard were among those
tending to Seigonie immediately after
the fall. Seigonie s boyfriend Christo-
pher Seon also arrived at the studio
soon after the incident," the statement
said. She was visited by family and
colleagues while at hospital.
Mohammed told her colleagues,
"I m glad that everyone who was
there, was there." She also asked them
to convey her sincere gratitude and
appreciation to all those who sent
messages of comfort and concern, as
well as those who have said words of
prayer on her behalf.
CNC3 Weather anchor Seigonie
Weather anchor Seigonie
discharged from hospital $26m Las Alturas towers
matter now in AG's hands
Moonilal said in 2011 the HDC called in
Dr Robert Ratay, an international
forensic structural engineer, along with
his team of structural and geotechnical
experts from Sevrund Associates
Consulting Engineers and Mueser
He said Ratay and his associates
were to review the structural drawings
and geotechnical reports, assess the
conclusions of various reports, conduct
independent investigations if warranted,
recommend remedial action, and provide
litigation support if required.
"We needed an independent body to
give expert and technical advice on the
Moonilal said the team raised several
"Then the HDC started to look for
approvals and for the technical report on
the site, but we got none. So we got
suspicious. I inherited a lot of problems
at the HDC."
Moonilal said he did not see this issue
"as political" since the forensic work was
done by an international agency.
"They are not into politics. They are an
Dr Ratay is a consulting structural
engineer in private practice with nearly
50 years of design, construction, and
teaching experience, and an adjunct
professor at Columbia University in New
He has been an expert
consultant/witness for engineers,
contractors, owners, attorneys and
insurance companies in the investigation
and litigation support of over 200 cases
of structural problems.
Earlier in his career he had been a
structural designer in practice, and
professor, chairman and dean of
engineering in academia.
Ratay cited the demolition of
Buildings H and I as the option with the
lowest degree of difficulty risk and
exposure. Local engineering consultants
Trintoplan Consultants Ltd were also
engaged by the HDC to assess the
conditions of the buildings and give their
opinion concluded in their report that
both buildings should be demolished.
ROBERT RATAY CALLED IN
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