Communications Minister Symon De Nobriga confirmed in a statement that Khan who had a history of heart-related illness, died at his Maraval home early on Saturday.
"It is with a deep sense of sadness that we announce the death of Minister of Energy and Energy Industries the Hon Franklin Khan. Minister Khan passed away peacefully at home early this morning.
"The Government of Trinidad and Tobago extend our sincerest condolences to his family at this time and will keep them in our collective thoughts and prayers.
"Minister Khan was a former Chairman of the People’s National Movement. He served as Minister of Works and Transport from 2002 to 2005, and as Member of Parliament for Ortoire/Mayaro from 2002 to 2007.
"In 2015, he was appointed as the Minister of Rural Development and Local Government by Prime Minister Keith Rowley and in 2016, he was appointed as the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries.
"Frankie will be remembered as a tireless servant of his country, this Government and the PNM."
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said Dr Rowley is extremely saddened by the passing of his colleague and friend “who will be remembered as a man who dedicated his life to public service.”
It added Rowley, who contracted covid19 on April 5, “mourns the loss of a patriot and son of the soil.”
Rowley, who is currently in quarantine at the PM’s official residence in Blenheim, Tobago, also extended condolences to Khan’s family.
Khan was among the parliamentarians who received the first dose of covid19 vaccines last Tuesday.
National Security Minister Stuart Young, who ,along with other divisional heads, received his vaccine on Saturday, urged people to not speculate about what may have caused Khan’s death but to wait for the results of the autopsy.
Young described Khan as a very close colleague for whom he had a great deal of respect. “ I take the opportunity as a colleague of his, and as someone who had a great deal of respect for him, to extend my condolences to his family and our sympathy to them, a man who gave great service to Trinidad and Tobago, and really one of our unique characters in the Cabinet of TT since I’ve been serving,” he said.
Originally from Guayaguayare, a small village on Trinidad’s east coast, Khan was a petroleum geologist by profession and served as MP for Ortoire/Mayaro from 2002-2007, having defeated then incumbent Winston “Gypsy” Peters.
As Energy Minister, Khan had the unenviable task of presiding over shutting down the refinery at state-owned Petrotrin – a move which placed hundreds of workers on the breadline.
In September 2018, Khan told a public meeting in Marabella that the pending closure of the refinery was an emotional experience for him, having worked in that company, in its different incarnations, when he graduated as a geologist in 1980.
- Countries: Trinidad_Tobago