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Saturday 17 August 2019
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Duke: People could have died

Watson Duke
Watson Duke

THA Minority Leader Watson Duke said Tuesday’s incident on the Trini Flash water taxi was an “evil act by the government,” because the water taxi did not undergo a sea trial by maritime officials for the voyage.

At a press conference yesterday at his office on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, Duke said citizens are at their wits’ end moving back and forth on the inter-island ferry service.

He said the water taxi should have been tested on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean by qualified officials. “The way in which people were moved from the water taxi to the Cabo Star on Tuesday was evil. I can tell you that there were people who went off on themselves because they were afraid for their lives. People had panic attacks moving from one vessel to another. “No one should be going through that. The government should respect human dignity, the value of a human being.”

He called on the entire Cabinet to resign or face the electoral force of the people.

Duke said he was appalled when he heard the water taxi was on fire.

“I said to the media, ‘People on that boat will be suffering from sickness and panic attacks,’ only to find out, when a video surfaced on social media, the officer was telling people, ‘Don’t panic.’ We have records where several people would have died on the normal ferry service between TT, much less a water taxi that is so small in a big ocean, and so much instability. “People could have died yesterday. It is not reasonable for the Minister of Transport to say it is a small mishap.”

Duke also called on President Paula-Mae Weekes to speak out on issues affecting the State.

He said it is time the President spoke out on the ferry issue and intervened in the suffering of citizens and the exploitation of people who are trying to get services.

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