By Mandy Thompson
Three men were killed yesterday and two others injured when a small pick-up owned by the Bosai Mining Company slid under a truck it attempted to overtake on the company’s internal road located in the East Montgomery Mines in Linden.
The driver, Michael Williams 43 years, of Coomacka Mines; heavy-duty mechanic, Trenton Garner, 62 years of Lot 12 Industrial Area; and Kester Grant, 20 years of Block 22, Wismar, were pronounced dead on arrival at the Linden Hospital Complex. The two injured men are Fabian Anthony and Marlon Pollydore, 21 of Victory Valley, who are now patients at the hospital.
Pollydore is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nursing a broken pelvis. He was operated on by doctors last night and his relatives said that his condition has since improved although he is still critical. Anthony on the other hand suffered injuries to his leg and eye and was in a stable condition in the Male Ward up to press time.
Officials from the Chinese bauxite miner, Bosai were at the hospital and at the homes of the deceased speaking to relatives when this newspaper visited the area. Senior Public Relations Officer of the company, Truedel Marks, said that they are trying to make the families of the men comfortable in their time of sorrow.
She confirmed that the men were working at the company’s East Montgomery Mines when the accident occurred. Marks said that the men were heading back from a workshop when the pick-up attempted to overtake the truck and slid into the path of it.
She also said that they were expected to meet with officials from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) as well as the Ministry of Labour to discuss the incident. Bosai will be assisting the families with the necessary expenses, she added.
The Ministry of Natural Resources has said that a team has been deployed to investigate the tragedy. In a statement, the ministry said that they “have mandated the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Ministry of Labour and other agencies to conduct an urgent investigation and to examine occupational health and safety concerns at the company’s operation.”
The statement also said that “Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud has urged the team to conduct an expeditious and thorough investigation to ascertain the cause of the accident.”
Meanwhile, at the homes of the dead men, relatives were still in shock at the news. Williams’ wife and his mother were being treated at the hospital for high blood pressure after they became aware of his death his daughter, Nikita Williams, stated.
Williams told this newspaper that her father had been employed as a mechanic with the company since Omai Gold Mines Limited ceased operations. She recalled that they learned about the accident when a friend rang and told them that her father was at the hospital. She stated that when they got to the hospital their worst fears were confirmed as they saw his lifeless body. Williams appeared to have suffered from head injuries his daughter stated. The father of five was described as a hardworking person.
Grant’s father, Lancelot, told Stabroek News that his son had been employed as a trainee mechanic with the company for the last six months. He said that his son left to go into the mines in a pick-up bearing licence plate, PKK 79, at about 9 am. According to the man’s father, he was accompanied by a supervisor, Williams, who was driving, and three other mechanics.
Grant’s father also works at Bosai and he related that he was working at the main gate when a vehicle arrived and informed him that there was an accident in the mines.
Upon hearing this, he immediately informed his superior and decided to visit the scene. While he was going to investigate, he recalled seeing a pick-up coming out of the area and someone told him that his son was involved in the accident and his body was in the tray of the vehicle.
Grant added that he positively identified the body of his son at the hospital. The man’s distraught mother said it appears as though he suffered severe injuries in all parts of his body because he was in the front passenger seat of the pick-up. “All he bones break up. The pick-up look like when you crush biscuit”, she said.
Grant was the last of three children and was described as a loving child who was always giving. His mother also said that he used to support her and keep her abreast with activities in the community. With his passing, the woman said she does not know how she would move on.
At Garner’s home relatives and friends gathered to offer their condolences at his passing. His wife was too overcome with grief to speak but their son said that he was in Georgetown when he heard about his father’s demise. He too related the same story of what they heard transpired.
The recent tragedy has resulted in Region Ten Chairman, Sharma Solomon, stating that the region has been repeatedly making requests to the Ministry of Health for an ambulance to be made available for cases like these but has been unhappy with the response.
The men’s bodies are at the Wismar morgue where they are awaiting post-mortem examinations.