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PM: It does not appear to be sabotage

By CLINT CHAN TACK Saturday, March 30 2013

PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said information available to her regarding the island wide power failure does not suggest that sabotage was the cause. However she has instructed that a thorough investigation be done into what happened and a report provided to her as soon as possible.

In a brief interview with Newsday, the Prime Minister said: “There does not appear to be sabotage.” However, Persad-Bissessar added she has instructed Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine to conduct a full investigation into what caused the power failure and to provide her with a report.

Despite coughing several times during the interview, Persad-Bissessar said she visited the Phoenix Park Processors plant in Point Lisas at about 5 am yesterday after learning that a malfunction had occurred at the plant.

The Prime Minister said she has been advised that electricity has been restored to most of the areas in the country affected by the power failure. She confirmed a release issued by her office on Thursday which said she has the common cold and was advised by her doctors to rest.

In a statement yesterday, Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed confirmed what Persad- Bissessar said: “Minister of Energy Kevin Ramnarine is in the process of completing a comprehensive report as to the reason (s) for the island-wide power failure.”

Mohammed also apologised on behalf of the Government “to the national community for any inconvenience caused as a result of a major power outage that affected the entire country” from 1:30 am yesterday.

Mohammed said Government wanted to “salute all those who went beyond the call of duty to ensure that the nation was safe and secure and that other services remained fully functional.”

He thanked the members of the security forces, the Fire Service, TTEC workers, hospital staff (nurses and doctors) and “all others, who stepped to the fore to ensure the smooth running of things.” Mohammed also thanked the staff of WASA and the Piarco and Crown Point International Airports.

After saying the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management was aware of the situation and measures were in place for any emergency, Mohammed said: “This is a timely reminder to us that we must always be on the alert and be prepared for eventualities like these.”

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