18-Y-0 killed by tree in Region 7
An 18-year-old miner died on Tuesday last after a tree fell on him in a mining pit at Big Surarie Backdam in Puruni, Region Seven.
Dead is Anthony O’Connel of Shea Village, Rupununi, Region Nine; he was the youngest of eleven siblings.
A relative, Vani Rampersad told the News Room that the tree uprooted and hit O’Connel on the head first; workers rushed to his assistance and tried to free him but it was too late. The incident occurred at about 15:00h.
“He was pinned there for over an hour or something until help came and when help came he died,” Rampersaud told the News Room.
She said the dredge owner, Todd Thomas was also injured but the family is not certain if he was injured when the tree fell or while assisting to free the young man.
The Ministry of Labour along with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is investigating the incident.
A statement from the Ministry noted that it is “deeply saddened about the recent fatality, and offers condolences to the family of the deceased.”
Meanwhile, O’Connel’s body was only transported to Georgetown on Thursday. The relative explained that the body was not stored properly and as a result, it was swollen and turned purple.
“No one wanted to bring the body out and they just leave him there and we were trying to get some people but they were very reluctant. One man wanted $200,000 just to bring him out, they had to end up strapping him to bike and ride out with him,” the relative explained.
The family is hoping that the dredge owner takes some responsibility and assist with funeral expenses. A post mortem examination is scheduled for Friday.