Felipe Noguera, communications coordinator for the summit, told international journalists at the media briefing room, on the sixth floor of Tower C, yesterday, that persons evacuated from the building after the alarms went off, “did not muster in the right place.”
He said so after Fire Officer Dianne Samuel outlined the procedure to adopt in the case of an emergency at the summit secretariat, which also houses the media centre. In the case of an emergency, evacuees are expected to exit the building and muster at the Brian Lara Promenade and wait on the Fire Services’ instructions.
On Tuesday, when chaos erupted at the building because fire alarms went off, those who left the building gathered just outside the Hyatt Regency, located next to Tower C. Noguera asked journalists and everyone else to “bear with us.”
“This is the first time we are doing this,” he said, but admitted that the 700 or so people in the building at the time of the incident were safely evacuated from the building. Head of the inter-ministerial committee overseeing the organising of the summit, Mariano Browne said Tuesday’s event when the alarms went off was due to a cut in the power supply to the IFC building after an excavator dug up a power line on lower St Vincent Street.
And, there are also accreditation issues that the secretariat’s officials are still grappling with.
At the Civil Society Forum, on board the Carnival Victory cruise ship, many participants and even facilitators admitted that they are yet to receive their accreditation. Indera Sagewan-Ali, moderator of one of the sessions on board the Victory, bemoaned that the poor turnout could have been because of the “difficult process in getting here.”
Also facing accreditation problems were several international journalists, Newsday was told.
Summit officials said they were working on ironing out these problems, adding that some pre-accredited participants will be able to get their passes upon arrival at the Piarco International Airport. Those who were not pre-approved were urged to go to the Old Fire Station building, on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, to be accredited since they will be required to wear their passes from today when security restrictions around the Hyatt Regency go into effect.