Simulation shows how divers suffered one of the worst deaths possible during Caribbean disaster

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In 2022, tragedy struck off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, claiming the lives of four divers in the Paria pipeline disaster. Kazim Ali Jr, Yusuf Henry, Fyzal Kurban, and Rishi Nagassar lost their lives while carrying out maintenance work in the Caribbean waters on February 25, 2022. Christopher Boodram was the sole survivor of the harrowing incident.

The divers had been summoned to repair a leak by working in a hyperbaric chamber, a pressurized environment submerged in water. Their task involved changing nuts and addressing the leak within the pipeline. A YouTube channel, FatalBreakdown, provided a visual reconstruction of the events leading up to the tragedy.

According to the channel, the divers were removing an inflatable plug meant to separate oil from surrounding air and water. However, the removal of the plug using a lever created a sudden pressure differential, causing all five divers to be sucked into the 30-inch-diameter pipeline located in Pointe-a-Pierre harbour.

Boodram miraculously survived by swimming through the oil-filled water to a bend in the pipeline, where he was eventually rescued after being trapped for three hours. The Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited, owner of the pipeline, faced allegations of gross negligence and corporate manslaughter in a report by the Commission of Enquiry (CoE).

The CoE report cited poor operating procedures and the absence of a rescue team as contributing factors to the tragedy. Paria’s terminal operations manager, Collin Piper, defended the decision not to deploy a rescue team, stating it was to prevent further loss of life. The incident was attributed to the methodology used by both Paria and LMCS in removing content from the pipeline, leading to a “Latent Differential Pressure” that sucked in the workers.

Survivor Boodram described the ordeal as an “unbelievable nightmare,” recounting the burning sensation in his eyes due to the oil-filled environment. Legal proceedings regarding the incident are ongoing, with inquiries into the actions of the Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited still underway. LADbible has reached out to Paria for comment on the matter.

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