July 13 Port of Spain Trinidad: A secretary working with United
National Congress UNC) senator Robin Montano reported that shortly before Monday’s explosion in Port-of-Spain,
a man went into a store on Frederick Street and said he had just planted a bomb. He
made his secretary’s report public while speaking at the UNC’s Monday night forum at Siparia.
Montano said he did not come to make a “razzle-dazzle” speech, but
was still in shock at the stark reality that “terrorism had finally come to town.”
Montano, a lawyer, has chambers on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain.
He said his secretary had gone to Frederick Street when she saw a man admitting
that he had just planted a bomb.
Montano said she escaped injury when the explosion occurred.
“The bomb went off about two and a half blocks away from my office,”
“My secretary was on Frederick Street and she told me that she was in a
store when a man came in and said he had just planted a bomb outside.
“Then the next thing she heard was a loud explosion.”
It is uncertain whether the secretary went to the police to make a report.
Several attempts were made to contact her at Montano’s chambers but another
secretary said she had gone out.
Montano said yesterday that his secretary had not gone to make a report to the
police because she did not want to get involved.
He said she was scared.
At the Monday night meeting, Montano said the country must reflect on who did
the act, and why.
“A terrorist is a rational creature. That person came out with a particular
purpose in mind,” he said.
He also agreed with his UNC colleagues that a local terrorist group might have
been behind the incident.
Montano said Prime Minister Patrick Manning planned on calling a general election
He called on supporters to send a clear message to Manning that they would not
tolerate spiralling crime and terrorism.
Montano said the first step to overthrowing the PNM was to win the San Francique
East/Siparia South local government seat.
UNC candidate Christie Ann Rogers-Deonarine
is contesting the seat.
Meanwhile blast victim Lennard Holdip yesterday told National
Security Minister Martin Joseph what it felt like to be blown up.
“I thought a transformer blow, but I didn’t see
any smoke. When I looked down I see a whole chunk of my leg gone,” 66-year-old Holdip said from his bed at Port-of-Spain
Holdip was one of four people who remained hospitalised after
Monday’s explosion at the corner of Frederick and Queen streets, Port-of-Spain.
Joseph also visited other victims—Nicole Cassie, Darren
Andel and Wilfred Junior.
Cassie spoke to Joseph for about 30 seconds, and then went
back to sleep.
Head nurse at Ward 14 Barbara Holder said Cassie’s
condition was satisfactory.
Andel, another victim, whispered to the minister. His words
were barely audible. He seemed to have strength only to move his toes, and he slumped to his bed every time he tried to sit
A few other patients in Ward 14 surrounding Andel and Cassie
beckoned Joseph to view their injuries. They were not among the eight other people injured by the blast, who were discharged
by yesterday morning.
Joseph said he did not want his visit to the patients to
be viewed as a public relations move, saying he was there to sympathise with the victims.
He said all healthcare costs for those injured would be taken
“After hearing their stories, you have to thank God
it wasn’t worse,” Joseph said.
He said investigations into the blast were ongoing.
Joseph was accompanied by acting Sr Supt Errol Denoon, Insp
Peter Grant and other police officers. After leaving the hospital, he also visited Yvonne McIvor at the Community Hospital
of the Seventh-day Adventists in Cocorite.
McIvor’s leg was amputated after the blast.
After Monday’s incident, Holdip was coming to terms
with his injuries. He said the experience was life-altering.
Pointing to his bandaged leg, the pensioner said, “This
is something I will never forget. A whole half of my foot have 18 to 20 stitches in it…God alone knows.”