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Former PM says police responsible for Dorian death count

FORMER Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

FORMER Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.


Tribune Staff Reporter

FORMER Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said police are accountable for providing accurate information on how many people died because of Hurricane Dorian.

His comment came after Central and South Abaco MP John Pinder expressed support for opening a formal inquiry into the matter, saying the number of deaths is substantially more than what officials have publicly confirmed.

“Reports of all missing people should have been made to the police,” Dr Minnis said yesterday.

“The police have the responsibility to make the necessary investigations and determinations.

“The police should have the official figure as to the dead and missing as it relates to Hurricane Dorian.”

Opposition leader, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis pledged to launch a commission of inquiry into the number of people who died due to the storm. Still, whether or how the Davis administration will follow through on this is unclear.

Mr Pinder told The Tribune on Sunday an inquiry would be beneficial “to know the exact extent of the lives lost and the hurdles that came in terms of getting assistance and help to the northern islands in a timely fashion”.

FNM chairman Dr Duane Sands agreed, saying the matter is unresolved.

“We are now four years post-Dorian, and I believe that the wounds of Dorian remain unhealed in part because as a nation, we have not conducted the types of exercises necessary to get closure,” he said.

“One of those exercises is ensuring that all of the missing persons are adjudicated to have either died or formally missing so that their families can move on and reaching out to those people who continue to say they have loved ones missing, to deal with their claims in a sensitive, compassionate way.

“We have officials’ numbers. These are based on bodies and remains that have been identified, but even in official government proclamations, we continue to say we don’t know how many people are missing and as a country, I think we can do better.

“Let us look at an approach to honour the victims of Dorian and codify it a bit more so it doesn’t seem to be as haphazard and as arbitrary as it is and I think we will do an awful lot to soften the continued trauma that families, loved ones of persons missing or dead from Dorian continue to suffer.”