TelEm Main Building closed for second day, services continue

TelEm Group’s main building on Pond Island remained closed for a second day Tuesday following a massive fire on the dumpsite, however the company says its services will continue so that the general public and customers can continue to be served.

Managers have made arrangements for the second day to provide extra personnel and facilities at other TelEm Group locations on the Bush Road and in Simpson Bay to accommodate customers.

“Our customer service staff will be able to assist customers at our branch locations until we get the all clear to return to the main building,” said Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Mr. Brian Mingo at the start of the Business day Tuesday morning.

He said the company’s scheduled disconnections on Tuesday were cancelled for this week providing customers with an opportunity to make their due payments at the branch locations over the next few days without having to incur late fees.

Mr. Mingo said the Bush Road Branch in particularly is open from 11:00 am Tuesday, and will be ready to accommodate additional customers unable to do business at the company’s main office.


“I want to thank our staff for their cooperation and understanding and for putting TelEm Group and TelCell customers first. The Main building might be affected this week, but business goes on. We are assisting our valued customers and we are also continuing to handle our business outside. Our technical teams and technicians in the field are still providing service with their regular work routines,” said the Commercial Chief.

Mr. Mingo advised all other TelEm Group employees to remain in contact with their managers for further instructions on when they can return to work or whether their services might be required elsewhere.

Meantime TelEm Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Mr. Eldert Louisa, praised technicians and engineers for quickly identifying and restoring internet service to customers island-wide following a system crash early Monday morning.

Mr. Louisa said the technical team first provided a temporary solution to get customers connected while they worked on the core problem of rebuilding and restoring data to an important server so that the entire system could return to the way it was before the crash.

“The persons working on the problem worked diligently to get our customers reconnected as soon as possible, so that by the end of the day Monday, two hard drives that crashed were replaced and the system recovery and rebuild was also completed.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation as an added precaution,” added the Technical director.

Mr. Louisa said as is normally the case, a full report of the incident and the steps taken to correct the loss of internet service Monday will be provided in a technical and more detailed manner to the Bureau of Telecommunication and Post (St. Maarten) in the coming days.

Both Mr. Louisa and Mr. Mingo have meantime apologized to customer for inconvenience caused by the closure of the main building Monday and Tuesday and also for the loss of internet service Monday.

On Tuesday government announced the closure of schools in the Philipsburg and evacuation of emergency shelter residents at the Festival Village and the Little League Ballpark due to the dumpsite fire and the resulting smoke and fumes. The Government Administration Building has also remained closed for a second day and persons living on Pond Island are being requested to evacuate and find accommodation with friends and relatives in less hazardous parts of the island.