1 dead, 1 injured during explosion at Corentyne worksite

A man is now dead while another is seriously injured following an explosion at a worksite at Leeds Village, Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), on Friday morning.
Dead is 52-year-old Oliver France while the injured man has been identified as 25-year-old Jamal Rose, both of Number 51 Village.
Reports are that the duo had gone to the village to repair a leaking concrete water tank when the explosion occurred.
Guyana Times understands that the tank was previously painted with tar on the inside. The tar was applied to stop the leaking, but it persisted.
As such, France was asked to fix the problem. Reports are that he employed Rose as his worker and used a technique that is frequently being used today; that is to use gasoline and tar to fix the leak.
However, while inside the tank, they were using an angle grinder – a device known to produce sparks.
A few moments later, a loud explosion was heard. Police said the explosion was heard at about 9:30h.
The concrete tank, measuring about ten feet in width and length and about eight feet in height, was shattered, with parts reaching the neighbour’s yard. Glass windows on the neighbour’s house were also broken.
France and Rose were seen lying on the ground in the area, with multiple injuries on their bodies.
France was taken to the Port Mourant Public Hospital by public-spirited persons and succumbed on arrival while Rose was taken to the Skeldon Public Hospital, where he was admitted as a patient but subsequently transferred to the New Amsterdam Hospital.

Dead: Oliver France

His condition is considered serious. According to the Police, several persons were questioned in the area but no useful information was obtained. The now dead man’s sister-in-law, Chriseshal Ward, said she was at the Police station with her mother when she received the news of her brother-in-law’s passing.
She said she was in disbelief at first but her mother told her that he had left the village to work at a cousin’s residence and the tank exploded. She then went to the location. “We see only blood and stuff, we didn’t get to see him,” she said. She referred to France as being a kind and loving brother-in-law.
“If you ask him something he would always give you good advice.”
Meanwhile, Rose’s mother, Delma Lowenfield, said after hearing of the accident she rushed over to the neighbouring village but by the time she arrived on the scene, her son was already taken away.
“All I see was a lot of people there and they had Police there, they had the fire truck; I didn’t go into the scene because I am not so well so they put me to sit down. All they tell me is that Jamal get burn and they gone to the hospital,” the woman related.
Photographs seen by this publication of the men showed burns to their faces as well as to their hands and feet.
The Police have launched an investigation. France leaves to mourn a wife and five children, one of whom will be celebrating her first birthday next week.
France also runs an entertainment centre at his place of residence. (G4)