Three killed as fuel boat explodes at Friendship

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By Svetlana Marshall and Alva Solomon
Three men were killed on Saturday afternoon following an explosion onboard a fuel boat in the Demerara River while docked at a wharf on the East Bank of Demerara in the vicinity of Friendship.

The men have been identified as Damian Dias , 29 , Mark Mangal and Seenarine Persaud.
Village Voice Newspaper understands that the wharf is owned by Nazar Mohamed, Azruddin Intiaz Mohamed and Sewsankar of Black Water Petroleum Inc. The vessel , the Canada Club,  belong to a West Demerara businessman.

Reports are that the men were offloading fuel when the explosion occurred shortly after 1530hrs. Deputy Fire Chief Gregory Wickham, when contacted, confirmed the incident. “I am not certain whether it was an explosion. I know our guys responded to a fire on a vessel and they found three lifeless bodies,” Wickham told this publication.
He said the investigation was still ongoing and upon completion, the Fire Service would be able to determine whether the fire was as a result of an explosion.

A source told Village Voice Newspaper that the Guyana Fire Service was alerted by a security guard who heard the explosion and subsequently saw fire and smoke emanating from the bow of the vessel. The source said that it was after extinguishing the fire that the lifeless bodies of the three men were discovered.

Dias’ mother Sheila Dias told the Village Voice from her home at White Water village near Mabaruma that her son has been working on the vessel for almost 10 years. She said that the man, who is her fourth child, is her main breadwinner, noting that he usually sends money for her each month end. ” He spoke to me only this morning (Saturday). He said he gon send money month end because he father sick, he had a stroke,” she added.

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The woman said she received a call around 1800hrs on Saturday from another of her sons who lives in the city. She said he was at the scene and according to her, he identified his brother’s remains. ” Vivian tell me he brother burn up bad, he can’t even see he brother face and so,” the woman said. She said she also spoke to her son’s boss who related the sad news of Dias’ death.

The Maritime Administration Department and other agencies are investigating the accident.



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