Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 9th 2015 Contents SHARLENE RAMPERSAD
The family of a Cunupia man
who died in a work-related acci-
dent yesterday is calling on wit-
nesses to come forward and say
how he really died.
Ryan Maharaj, 31, of Pina Cir-
cular, Dyette Estate, Cunupia, went
to Reesal's Hardware in Freeport
to collect a tonne of steel around
8.20 am yesterday when the inci-
Salic Reesal, the owner of the
hardware, said Maharaj had
climbed onto the tray of the truck
and was trying to place a piece of
cardboard to protect the truck's
cab whilst machine operator
Nathan Milner was using a forklift
to load the steel.
He added: "Part of the steel was
protruding over the hood of the
truck and he (Maharaj) went to
put a piece of cardboard to protect
the bars on the back of the truck.
"The steel slipped somehow
from the prongs of the forklift and
the bundle of steel went towards
him. He must have seen it, gone
back and he fell off the side of the
"When he fell, he hit his head
on the ground and it smashed open
and then the steel tumbled off the
side of the truck. His head was on
the ground and his body was on
top of the steel."
Reesal said that was the first
such incident to take place at his
hardware in all his 33 years of oper-
"This was a freak accident and
I am just sorry for his family's loss."
But when the T&T Guardian
visited Maharaj's Cunupia home,
relatives told of many unanswered
"This story is not adding up the
correct way," said his uncle Mano
"The family was not told of the
incident until about an hour after
it happened and even though I
reached there about five minutes
after they found out, the scene
was clear. There were no police,
no body, no district medical officer
"We want the workers who were
there and who saw what happened
to come forward and say how it
really happened because I can't
understand how he fell off the
truck and then the steel fell but
his body was on top of the steel,"
Maharaj's distraught father,
Bridgenarine Maharaj, said when
he asked police officers to view
the body of his only son, he was
told to wait until today.
"We didn't get to see him on
the scene so we asked to see him
at the mortuary and the police
officer told us no, we have to wait
for the autopsy to see him," he
said. "The officer made us wait
and gave us back his identification
but we never got to see him," he
Maharaj's co-worker, Sharaz
Abdool, who was the last person
to speak to him, said the steel was
to be taken to a construction site
in Mayaro. Maharaj worked as a
project technician with XP Engi-
neering in Cunupia.
The body was taken to the San
Fernando mortuary by officers of
the Freeport Police Station.
An autopsy is expected to be
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
President of the Communication
Workers Union (CWU) Joseph Remy
has described the laying off of 600
workers from ArcellorMittal, "as a
direct and brazen attack on trade
unions in T&T."
He also expressed solidarity with
the dismissed steel workers and their
families, "two weeks and some days
before Christmas by a foreign entity."
Steel workers president Christopher
Henry said yesterday the matter had
been placed in the hands of the union's
Remy criticised the Point Lisas-
based Indian steel giant's action saying:
"A multinational would have taken
action to disrupt the lives of locals
and we would continue to accept these
things because we keep saying we are
a global village."
"We are a sovereign state and as
such one must stand up in defence of
the working class of T&T."
He said the layoffs took place in
spite of the assurances given by
Finance Minister Colm Imbert that
no action would be taken against
Remy insisted that the working class
and ordinary citizens should not be
held responsible for the current eco-
nomic morass and should not be the
ones having to carry the burden of
any adjustments based on statements
made by Central Bank Governor Jwala
Rambarran about T&T being in a
"If they attack the heart of the union
and its membership then it debilitates
the ability of the union to engage in
progressive trade union action to ben-
efit the workers," he added.
On Monday, ArcellorMittal served
notices to some 600 workers, all
members of the Steel Workers Union
of T&T. The company says the num-
ber of workers affected was 480.
The steel company said the over-
supply of steel in the international
market and the drying up of orders
for its DRI and steel products produced
at its Point Lisas plant has led to this
temporary shutdown of its operations.
The company said the global steel
industry, including ArcellorMittal, is
experiencing its worst recession in ten
years and it had no choice but to react
to these changes in the industry by
sending home the workers.
The workers were sent home with
$2,000 "as an act of goodwill" by the
company, as payment for the period
December 7 to January 15 next year.
Police are seeking the public s help
to identify the body of a man found
yesterday with bullet wounds to the
back of the head at Concord Road, San
The latest killing pushed the murder
toll to 389 for the year with the cor-
responding figure at 380 last year.
Police responded to a report that the
man's body was found around 7.30 am
in a track off the road near the NP gas
station along Saddle Road.
The man did not belong to the area,
police said, which made it difficult to
determine his identity.
Police said the victim appeared to
be between 25 to 35 years old and was
of African descent.
Fingerprints are expected to be taken
today from the body at the Forensic
Science Centre, St James, to help unravel
In a separate case, police are also
awaiting the results of fingerprint testing
and possibly dental records to identify
the decomposing body of a man found
at Santa Cruz on Monday night.
Police said the discovery was made
around 11.30 pm at a house at Mc
Carthy Street, Santa Cruz.
The officers were called after residents
complained of a foul stench coming
from a house. Officers said they have
an idea as to the identity of the dead
man but was awaiting further infor-
mation before releasing his identity.
Investigators said owing to state of
decomposition they could not determine
whether foul play was involved in the
CWU boss in uproar:
by tonne of steel
Police seek help to
ID murder victim
The compound of Reesal Industries where Ryan
Maharaj (inset) was killed. PHOTO TONY HOWELL
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