A pitman attached to a private mining company at Blackwater Backdam, Cuyuni River, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), was on Monday killed after the mining pit in which he was working collapsed.
Dead is 55-year-old Louis Armstrong, also known as “Jessie” of Lot 6 2nd Street, Meadowbank, Greater Georgetown. According to information received, at around 11:30h on the day in question, Armstrong was working on a six-inch dredge when the pit caved in, thus pinning him.
Guyana Times understands that it took some time to get Armstrong from under the debris.
His colleagues eventually managed to pull him out in an unconscious state. He was rushed to the Bartica Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
His body is expected to be transported to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where a post-mortem will be performed.
When Guyana Times visited the home of the dead man, his relatives were still in shock and disbelief at the manner in which the man met his demise.
His niece, Olivia Welcome, explained that her sister received a call from the Bartica Police Station informing her that they are in possession of a body suspected to be that of their uncle.
She noted at that time, the police rank was hesitant to provide adequate information as to what transpired.
“We were not getting full information from these people; one person saying something and another person saying something else. And it was complete madness. They said they were going to call us to let us know when they are going to transport the body to Georgetown so that we can probably go down the same time, nothing was done,” Welcome explained.
She added that based on information the family received, her uncle was jetting along with two other men. She noted that the men tried to alert their now dead uncle of a breach but the noise was too much.
Within a few minutes, the pit reportedly caved in, trapping Armstrong in the process.
When asked if she thinks that foul play was involved, she said, “At first, we thought it was but now we are not sure, and we can only say when the post-mortem is done. So, we wouldn’t make speculations without any evidence or such. But we know how the bush does be,” the woman stated.
Meanwhile, Louis’ sister, Orlene Armstrong, described her brother as one of the “funniest” people.
“He can be very calm and very loving. When he comes out from the interior, he does spread joy with everybody,” Orlene concluded.
In April this year, Alex, also known as “Dougla”, a resident of Moruca, North West District (NWD), was killed after the mining pit where he was working caved in.
It was reported that Alex was employed on a six-inch land dredge which is owned by an Ogle, East Coast Demerara man.
At the time of the incident, Alex and five other men were working in the mining pit when tragedy struck. Alex was pinned while his five colleagues managed to run to safety. His body was later retrieved from the rubble.
He was taken to the Bartica Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. (Shemar Alleyne)