A 42-year-old man who fell into an open manhole, fracturing his jaw, cried uncontrollably as he described the humiliation of knowing that as a grown man food falls out of his mouth whenever he attempts to eat.
Wiping away tears, Anton Arthur, during a visit to the Express on Monday, said since the accident, which occurred on July 20, he has been unable to eat solid food and cannot work, as the slightest bending leaves him feeling dizzy.
Arthur, a single parent and multi-skilled labourer, said the accident happened along the sidewalk of the Southern Main Road, Curepe, around 11.30 p.m.
Arthur said he had stepped to the back of his boss's van, which pulled up on the sidewalk, to offload a tool and made a step backward to make room for the van's tray to open. He said he then fell four feet into the open manhole. The accident happened near the Trini to D Bone restaurant.
Arthur said his co-worker and boss told him he "blanked out" for five minutes or so. He recalled being awakened by someone who placed ice on his chin.
Arthur, of Mission Road, San Juan, said since the accident he has been unable to eat any kind of solid food and has been surviving on liquids.
"You know how it is to go to work one day and come back home feeling like an invalid? You eating and food falling out of yuh mouth. I have to make juice and porridge alone," Arthur said, as he openly wept.
Arthur said since the accident, the open manhole has remained uncovered and attempts to get the problem rectified have been futile.
He said he reported the matter to the Tunapuna Regional Corporation, which told him the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure was the body responsible.
Contacted on Monday, chairman of the Tunapuna Regional Corporation Khadija Ameen said the upkeep of major roads fell under the purview of the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.
Corporate communications officer for the Ministry Marcia Hope, in an e-mailed response, said she would forward the claims to the relevant authorities before responding.