Fireworks explosion: Soldier succumbs to injuries

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A young soldier who suffered burns to over 90% of his body when the fireworks exploded Saturday, succumbed to his injuries at the Georgetown Public Hospital early Sunday morning.

Dead is 31-year-old Seon Rose, who was part of the 21 Artillery Company of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).

Rose was the most critical of the eight ranks injured in the incident. The others who are still hospitalised have been identified as Terrence Neils, Gordon Cornette, Isiah Gordon, Trevon Joseph, Victor Low, Atto Cort and Delroy Baird.

The GDF cancelled the fireworks display, which was slated for Saturday night to ring in Guyana’s 50th Republic anniversary celebrations, following the explosion at the Coast Guard base in Riverview, Ruimveldt, Georgetown at around 13:30hrs.

Soldiers in the 21 Artillery Company were offloading the explosives from the truck to a pontoon when the incident occurred.

The burnt truck at the scene of the explosion [News Room photo]
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and President of Guyana, David Granger visited the scene of the explosion and the injured ranks at the hospital Saturday.

In comments to the media after, the President said that the injured soldiers were experts in handling explosives and were even part of the fireworks team in Barbados in 2016 when they celebrated their 50th Independence.

He said it could have been one faulty bomb that triggered the explosion.

President David Granger expresses sympathy to the ranks of the 21 Artillery Company of the Guyana Defence Force. [MOTP photo]
Chief of Staff of the Force Brigadier Patrick West said he has ordered a Board of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances of the incident.

Meanwhile, President Granger expressed his condolences to the family following the soldier’s death.

A statement from the President’s office Sunday noted that Corporal Rose enlisted in the GDF on September 7, 2008 and joined the 21 Artillery Company on November 14, 2008.

President David Granger interacts with an injured rank of the Guyana Defence Force as doctors and other medical professionals look on. [MOTP photo]
“President Granger wishes to thank the staff of the GPHC for their tireless efforts to save Corporal Rose’s life and for their continued treatment of the other injured ranks.

“The Head of State expresses heartfelt sympathy to Corporal Rose’s wife, Mrs. Tamica Rose, other relatives and friends and the entire GDF fraternity.”

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