Miner dies after set afire by wife

-doused with gasoline while melting gold

A 45-year-old miner who was set alight by his wife during a dispute in the  Mazaruni  backdam on Friday morning succumbed to his injuries at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) on Saturday night.

Dead is Malcolm Lancaster, a father of four of Rosignol, West Coast Berbice and of Lot 71, D’Urban Street, Lodge in the city.

Malcolm Lancaster

According to the police, around 8 pm on Saturday, Lancaster succumbed to burn injuries he had sustained on Friday, June 24 at the Ikawan Backdam in the Mazaruni area.

According to reports, Lancaster and his wife were arguing in the backdam area, some two hours by boat from Bartica up the Mazaruni River, on Friday morning when the incident occurred.

The man’s eldest son Mickhil Nedd, 22, who witnessed the incident, told Stabroek News that he and his father got up that morning to start work for the day at the mining area around 5:30 when his father and his stepmother began arguing. He said that his father had been working in the area for some three years since returning from the Caribbean.

He said that during the argument, the woman grabbed a knife and lunged at his father. “She grab the knife and go fah stab he but I part them and he get cut pon he hand near he thumb”, the man stated. This was around 6 am he recalled.

He said that about half an hour later his father picked up his belongings and told him that he was leaving the area for  the coastland. He said that  the man picked up a piece of gold “and start melt it foh pay he passage to Bartica”.

He said that, “to my horror he was backing her  and she tek a small 2 gallon bucket full with gasoline and drench he with it”.

The young man noted that his father was engulfed in flames from “head to toe” and he ran to his assistance and threw a towel on him. He said that as his father lay on the ground crying out in pain, he scoured the area for assistance and someone lent him an all terrain vehicle (ATV) which he used to transport his father to a nearby boat landing, some 45 minutes away.

He said that he took his father to the Bartica hospital by boat thereafter, and after arriving there some four hours later, the injured man was attended to by medical staff who subsequently made arrangements to transfer him to the GPHC since his injuries were severe.

Nedd said that his father was crying out in pain for the entire trip and subsequently he was slipping in and out of consciousness when they arrived in the city, the  man noted.

He said that the injured man was able to talk to him and other relatives up until the time of his death.

He was admitted to the Burn Care Unit of the GPHC where he remained a patient until he died on Saturday evening around 8 pm, the man noted.

Nedd stated that his father and mother separated several years ago and the man later entered into another union with the assailant and would travel in and out of the mining districts from time to time.

Police were expected to travel to the area over the weekend to carry out investigations into the incident. The police noted yesterday that the suspect remained at large.

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