Venezuelan dies in Cuyuni blaze

Venezuelan, Francisco Silva perished during a fire at an apartment building in Aranka, Cuyuni on Saturday.

The fire, police said in a release yesterday, is “of so far unknown origin”. Silva’s body is currently at the Bartica Hospital Mortuary.

Commander of Police ‘E’& ‘F’ Division David Ramnarine told Stabroek News yesterday that a team of investigators had been sent to the location. The team, according to Ramnarine, is making efforts to gather details on the incident and no additional information is yet available.

Meanwhile, Regional Chairman of Region Seven, Holbert Knights explain-ed that information would be slow to filter out from Aranka because of its remoteness and limited communication methods.

“This place is located way beyond the Buck Hall area… it is one of the mining districts…a backdam area,” he explain-ed. “So unless you know someone who coming out from the backdam then you won’t hear anything.”

Knights said that he was aware of the matter and was told that a team including ranks from the Bartica Police Station and the Guyana Fire Service had left for Aranka.

The “apartment building”, as police called it, he further said, is a flat, wooden building with small rooms that are connected to each other. Knights explain-ed that in such areas these “apartment buildings” are small and, because of the material they are made from, will most likely be destroyed by a fire in a very short period of time.

“Backdam locations” in the mining district, he said, are at best scattered settlements. Any fire, he explained, would have to be put out with a bucket brigade and even this is made impossible when there is no access to an immediate water source.

A miner who sometimes visits the Aranka area told this newspaper that Silva is most likely a miner as well. “You does find a lot of Venezuelans and Brazilians coming into the mining district,” the man, who declined to have his name published, said.

The man further said that it will be very difficult for police to confirm the identity of the deceased. “These foreign miners does just come in the area without ID  on them…most of them does be illegal …so even if de police get a name it still hard to tell if is de right name,” he explained.

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