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Trinidadian not on register

Maria Bradshaw

Trinidadian not on register

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Trinidadian Selwyn Williams,?who was engaged as an architectural consultant by Dr Jerry Emtage during the construction of a commercial building at Chelston Park, St Michael, admitted to the Coroner’s Court yesterday that he was not qualified to work in Barbados.
But he told the court during the inquest into the death of a family of five, who perished when their apartment building collapsed, that he knew he was not registered to work in Barbados, but he was “doing a favour for his friend Dr Jerry Emtage” by performing the duties of architectural consultant.
Under intense cross-examination from Queen’s Counsel Sir Richard Cheltenham, the witness stated that he was aware that the Architects Registration Act had since 2003 excluded people with his qualifications from working in Barbados.
He also admitted that he was not an architect, but worked as a consultant in Trinidad for 29 years.
The witness told the court that he was contacted by Emtage in July 2006 about a parcel of land he was purchasing at Chelston Avenue.
He said he was asked by Emtage to assist him to prepare a revision of the approved plans.
He said he sent a letter to Mahy, Hazzard & Ridley (MHR) on December 8, 2006, outlining the services which the firm could provide for the project, and these included geotechnical investigations.
Williams said when site preparation began on February 7, Felix Gosling who was clearing the land, telephoned him and requested that he “come to the site because there was a cave”.
The witness said he contacted engineer James Porte, who was attached to Mahy, Hazzard & Ridley, and they met at the site where Gosling “showed us an opening in the ground which looked like a cave hole”. Williams said he told Porte that bore hole testing needed to be done to see how stable the land was and he repeated this request in writing on February 12, but Porte told him that Gregory Hazzard, a director of Mahy, Hazzard & Ridley, was of the opinion that this was not necessary.
The consultant said that on July 17, 2007, Desmond Maynard of C.O. Williams Construction Ltd also contacted him and Emtage, and asked them to come to the site.
“On arrival at the site, there was a large crack in the soil about three inches wide and ten feet long. Mr Porte of MHR also came to the site and saw the crack. Mr Porte went back to his office saying that he had to speak to Mr Hazzard and he left without giving any instructions.
“Mr Maynard was concerned about the land and decided to remove all of his heavy equipment from the site and to only continue the work using a Bobcat and a small tractor.”
Williams said the next day Maynard again asked him to visit the site and when he arrived there, he noticed that the crack, which he saw the day before, was now 24 inches wide by ten feet long.
“Looking into the ground we could see the foundation blocks for the adjacent apartments,” Williams stated, adding that Emtage dropped a rock into the hole to try to establish its depth but “none of us heard the rock land”.