Hours after the 21 March 2017 quarry explosion that shook up the island in more ways than one, the acting police commissioner Milton Desir and fire chief Joseph Joseph assured media personnel that evidence collected at the scene had been sent abroad for analysis. But as March moved into April, May and June it seemed the nation was running out of patience. Curiously, survivors of the explosion were reluctant to talk about the horror that had taken four lives and left a number of workers badly injured. Even the relatives of the dead refused to answer reporters’ questions. As for the quarry’s operator, Rayneau Gajadhar Group of Companies, other than an initial statement, it continues to maintain a stony silence.
In April Hermangild Francis, the national security minister, issued a related statement: “I want the public to understand the government is serious about getting to the bottom of what happened.” He said investigators from the U.S. had visited the island and were in the process of preparing a report that would be passed on to the police.
On Monday this week Prime Minister Allen Chastanet expressed his personal disappointment that so much time had elapsed since the explosion without a resolution. “We also have the matter of the outstanding bills for the individuals who had to be flown to Martinique for treatment.” By all the prime minister said, the insurance companies will do nothing until there has been a judicial resolution.
The PM added: “I have had discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions centred on bringing this whole matter to a close.” He gave his assurance: “There will be no procrastination on our part. We’ve simply been allowing the process to take its regular course.”
The DPP announced this week that his office was in receipt of a police report. No one was in a position to say when it would finally make its way to court!