Councillor for the Beetham/Picton areas, Akil Audain, told reporters yesterday that everything was being done to have the tree removed by the end of the day, to lessen the risk of further damage to people in the community.
“We plan to get the tree removed today. If it stays there, there is a possibility that the tree could roll forward and wreck other homes. We cant take that chance”
Members of the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation were seen cutting the tree into smaller pieces so that the tree could be removed as road restrictions prevented the corporation from using cranes to remove the fallen tree.
Agatha James, 67, who was injured in the accident is now in the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, receiving treatment. James, however is expected to undergo surgery, and is in need of blood for the operation. Relatives of James told Newsday they were in the process of donating blood for the surgery. Relatives said despite having to undergo surgery, James was still in high spirits.
Speaking with reporters yesterday at the site of the incident, Samuel Callender commended the Corporation on their swift reaction, and their tireless work, but still says that it will not bring back their home.
“Well it still sad; whether they move the tree or not, my family and I still have nowhere to live. However, certain authorities intervened and said that we will be compensated. The councillor for the area was up and down here helping a lot.” said Callender.
Callender said he and his family slept at a friend’s house last night as the incident left their home in ruins. He said they were living in that house for over 12 years, and his neighbours, including James had been there for even longer.
At about 1.30 am yesterday Agatha James’ daughter, Deborah was asleep when she was awakened to a loud crashing noise. When she investigated she discovered that the 100 year old silk cotton tree had fallen on their house.