Man killed in ice plant blast at Houston

A refrigeration technician is now dead and another man was injured after the ice plant they were working in exploded yesterday morning at the Houston Wharf.

According to reports reaching Stabroek News, around 11 am, 48-year-old Carlton Meghan from Diamond, East Bank Demerara and Avinash (only name given) were doing welding on the ice plant at BM Enterprises when there was an explosion that pitched the two men out of the building.

Carlton Meghan

“He was working on the ice plant. He’s a technician and we don’t know what went on because we weren’t there,” Ryan Meghan, the man’s son related to Stabroek News yesterday. He pointed out that while his father has been a technician for all his life and has worked on and around the wharf for a very long time, he has only been working with the company for a year. The company is owned by his brother, Green Meghan.

“He works every day and is only last night I saw him and then we get this call about this that happened today,” the man related, adding that his emotionally distraught mother is still to accept what happened to her husband.

“From what I know is that they de working and welding, trying to fix it and like the gas from the compressor was being let out and all of a sudden you hear a big, big boom and the whole place blow up and both of them pitch off with all the zinc but like he [Meghan] get way more damage because he died on spot,” one of the men who was working close to the area related to Stabroek News.

He added that upon closer inspection of Meghan’s body they discovered that he had several broken limbs, a piece of a galvanised sheet had sliced his throat and parts of his body were covered in severe burns.

“He dead right on the spot there, man. Just like that cause like he was closer to the explosion,” he said, while pointing out that the other worker, who sustained burns and other injuries was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was treated and later discharged.

The ice plant where the explosion occurred yesterday. A number of galvanised sheets from the wall of the building can be seen missing.

Shortly after the explosion, the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) and Guyana Police Force (GPF) were summoned to the scene. According to the Head of Operations of the GFS, Compton Sparman, they received a call around 11:05 about an explosion which was even heard on parts of West Demerara. “We responded with three vehicles along with an ambulance and it was a rapid explosion so there was no fire and just the casualties,” he added.

Sparman related that from their initial investigations, they were able to ascertain that the man was welding in the ice machine where the compressor tanks with flammable gas were.

“When you working around compressor tanks and those gas, especially doing welding you have to be very, very careful. Those gases are very flammable and sometimes some can leak out of their containers and serious explosions like what happened today (can occur),” another one of the workers, who wanted to remain anonymous, related to Stabroek News.

When contacted, the owner of the company did not want to comment on the situation.

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