Post Cabinet Media Briefing – Thursday March 10th 2022

Cabinet has approved the establishment of a Commission of Enquiry to examine and inquire into all of the circumstances which occurred on Friday February 25th, 2022 at facilities owned by the Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited, located at No. Sealine Riser on Berth #6, which led to the deaths of four LMCS divers.

The Commission of Enquiry will be made up of three persons. However, the quorum shall be constituted by two members.

The COE will be chaired by regional legal luminary, Mr. Justice Cecil Dennis Morrison, OJ, CD, QC. He will be assisted by Mr. Gregory Wilson, a subsea specialist. The third member of the COE will be a representative from an international investigative firm with experience in conducting probes into large industrial accidents, including in the oil and gas sector. This member is still being sought.

Among the COE’s objectives are:

  1. To ascertain the scope of works by Paria for the exercise.
  2. To ascertain the proposals and plans submitted by LMCS to conduct the works at the site.
  3. To examine policy, procedure and practices, and conduct related to employees/organised labour for maintenance exercises.
  4. To identify the precise facts and circumstances which led up to and resulted in the loss of life.
  5. To examine all the decisions and actions taken after it became clear that the five LMCS divers went missing.
  6. To investigate the nature, extent, application of any standing orders, policy considerations, legislation, or other instructions in dealing with the situation that gave rise to this incident.
  7. To identify whether Paria and LMCS employed sufficient safeguards and measures to ensure the safety of its contracted employees, property, and the prevention of the incident.
  8. To determine the adequacy and mechanical integrity of equipment utilised by LMCS.
  9. To determine the adequacy of LMCS’ plans which were utilised for the operation.
  10. To identify, whether by act or omission, any identified or unidentified party directly or indirectly caused loss of life.
  11. To examine the role played by Paria and LMCS through its respective units, individually and collectively, in dealing with this incident.
  12. To examine all other material circumstances that led up to and surrounding the incident that led to the deaths of four LMCS divers, continuing up to the recovery of their bodies.

The Commission of Enquiry shall sit in public but has the discretion to sit wholly in public, from time to time in public, and sometimes in private. The Commissioners must submit their report to the President within six months of their first sitting.

Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young stated that Paria has been cooperating fully with the OSH and TTPS investigations, and he expects the company will also fully cooperate with the Commission of Enquiry.

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