Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 11th 2016 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 11, 2016
RADHICA SOOKRAJ-DE SILVA
Seabed oil leaks, which sprung up near the Soldado
oilfields in the Gulf of Paria, have been repaired and
the company says that no chemical agents were used
in the mop-up exercises.
However, some fishermen from the fishing villages
of St Marie, Bonasse, Fullerton, Granville, Bamboo
and Icacos say they find this hard to believe as
evidence of a chemical substance has been sticking
up in their nets.
Clumps of oil have also been resurfacing on the
beachfronts over the past week, along with hun-
dreds of dead fish.
Holding up part of a net found floating near
Trinmar Saldado S-20 field, Rajesh Ramdass said
they were not satisfied with Petrotrin s response
to the oil spill. Saying several nets have already
been destroyed, Ramdass added:
"A net costs between $32,000 to $40,000 and
since the oil spill this substance has been sticking
up in the nets and we do not know what it is."
He added that the barnacles, oysters and other
shellfish have died, along with schools of herrings,
catfish and mullet.
Errol Sookbir said Petrotrin was killing the fishing
"Since we found out about this oil spill, we have
not been able to work. We had over 1,200 people
affected by this and Petrotrin is only offering com-
pensation for two days loss of earnings," he added.
However, president of the Icacos Fishing Association,
Esook Ali, said he was satisfied with Petrotrin s response.
"I don t know what they used to clean up the beach
or whether it was a chemical substance. So far, I am
satisfied. They promised to pay people for loss of earn-
ings and they are negotiating now," Ali said.
Since the oil spill, president general of
the Oilfields Workers Trade Union, Ancel
Roget, called on Petrotrin to improve secu-
rity around Trinmar s facilities. He also
said that the cause of the oil leak was the
subject of an investigation, adding: "Much
of Petrotrin s infrastructure needs to be
In response, Petrotrin s corporate com-
munications manager, Gillian Friday, con-
firmed that clean-up operations have been
completed. She also confirmed that secu-
rity had been boosted around the Trinmar
production facilities in the Soldado oilfields.
"Petrotrin has and continues to maintain
constant vigilance and surveillance of all
our land and marine installations and par-
ticularly so during the events of the past
week," Friday said.
Saying Petrotrin remains committed to the safety
and security of assets, Friday said discussions would
continue with all the stakeholders to ensure that
Petrotrin s assets were safe and reliable.
She said clean-up operations were primarily manual
with the use of absorbent materials.
"No chemicals agents were needed and were not
used. Petrotrin continues to focus on our asset integrity
challenges as a major part of our business and strategic
plans. We continue to address infrastructure failures
in a timely manner and implement long-term plans
to restore our assets," Friday said.
The clean-up occurred along Mosquito Creek and
along beaches in La Brea, Vessigny, Clifton Hill/Guapo,
Friday said the company would "monitor the shore-
line on a daily basis and to liaise with all stakeholders
as part of its response efforts in keeping with its com-
mitment to ensure safe and reliable operations."
reeling in losses
Firefighters are still trying to determine the cause
of Monday s fire at Cipero Street, San Fernando, which
left a father and daughter hospitalised, destroyed their
home, partially gutted two other buildings and incurred
millions of dollars in losses.
James Leung, 52, a Chinese national, and his daughter
Sapphia, nine, suffered superficial burns to their face and
hands when the fire began in their two-storey home around
Leung s wife and 14-year-old son also lived with them
but they were not hurt in blaze.
The fire reportedly started at Leung s home, which was
once a popular Chinese restaurant, Golden Terrance, and
then spread to the buildings on either side.
Only the top floor of a three-storey building, which
housed Draperies and Interiors Mega Traders Ltd and a
hardware store, were gutted while another building
which housed a cake store and spa/salon was par-
However, fire officials said only the top floor of
Draperies and Interiors Mega Traders Ltd was
gutted while the other building was partially gutted.
When the T&T Guardian visited the scene no one
was at Mega Traders Ltd.
However, at the other partially burnt structure
businesswomen Crystal Jagassar and Binda Collie
Baldeo were counting their losses. Their businesses
were not open when the fire started.
Jagassar, owner of The Elegant Touch
Spa, who had been renting there for the past
eight years, told the T&T Guardian she lost
She said Denise Myco who worked in the
same building as a hairdresser also lost all
her valuables. "We lost about $100,000 here.
I just restock, all my equipment everything burned," she
Baldeo, owner of Cake Fiesta, a cake shop downstairs
Crystal s business, said her losses were significant. "I think
about $50,000. We are not insured but the landlady said
she is insured," she said.
The landlady, who lived in an adjacent two-storey house
with her son, also suffered a lot of losses due to water
damage because the firefighters used her property to get
to the affected buildings.
Her son said: "They came in to wet our building on the
side and the other building. They broke all out windows.
The water was about ankle high in our house. The furniture,
fixtures were water soaked. The basement had knee high
water. We had plenty water damage."
Owner of Motor Master, Ravi Seereeram, who was renting
downstairs the landlady s house but had almost completely
moved out his goods as he was in the process of relocating
to Munroe Road, Cunupia, said he suffered no losses.
"This part of the building was affected by water and
smoke," he said.
No leads yet in
$m Sando fire
Firefighters battle a blaze at the Mega Plumbing and
Hardware Building on Cipero Street, San Fernando, on
Monday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
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