Acting Prime Minister Colm Imbert yesterday said the National Helicopter Services Limited (NHSL) helicopter which was sent to assist in relief efforts in Antigua and Barbuda in the aftermath of the passage of Hurricane Irma, was on "a private mission". Responding to questions from Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal in the House of Representatives, Imbert reminded him that NHSCL is a state enterprise, "which has private and public customers."
He said NHSCL was working for a regional telecommunications company that was in Dominica and happened to have one of its helicopters on site. Imbert said the helicopter was supposed to return to TT but was diverted to Antigua and Barbuda instead. He said Barbuda was devastated by Irma and has now been evacuated for a week due to the imminent arrival of Hurricane Jose.
Imbert disclosed there have been preliminary talks with the Antigua and Barbuda government about TT assisting in rebuilding structures on Barbuda. He said no decision has been taken as yet and the situation is being monitored with Jose expected to hit the island today. Before the sitting, Imbert held a news conference to outline Government's plans to help TT nationals who have been stranded in different parts of the region by Irma and other storm systems.