GPL worker falls off rotten pole, dies

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A linesman employed with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) lost his life on Tuesday evening after a rotten utility pole he was climbing fell with him.
Dead is Brian David Clifford of Lot 414 Bushlot Village, Corentyne, Berbice. Reports are the 47-year-old linesman was at Belvedere Squatting Area, Corentyne, working on a pole when the incident occurred. Reports are that Clifford was reconnecting a wire when the pole came crashing down with him. He was strapped to the pole and did not have enough time to release himself as the pole came crashing down.

Dead: Brian David Clifford

According to reports, the linesman was in the area to reconnect the electricity after an excavator which was clearing a canal in the community, accidentally hooked an electrical wire causing it to burst. GPL was called in and Clifford, who was on duty on the evening shift, mounted the pole.

According to Ulin Kempadoo, who was on her patio knitting, she was keenly observing an excavator cleaning the canal in front of her house. “I see when the thing hit the post and the wire cut, and then the emergency people come and the man go up on the post.”
Meanwhile, Tina Dihal who lives one house away from where the pole fell, said she saw the GPL worker climbing the utility pole. “So me turn and show me daddy how the post bend, and I telling he that they should get something and tie the post…”
The woman said she watched in horror as the post started to lean further and within a split second, it crashed to the ground; falling first, with the helpless man smashing into it. “He was trying to lose the belt but it happen so quick, he couldn’t do nothing to save he self,” she related.
Another neighbour, Chan Kempadoo in recounting the incident noted that the man was quickly rushed to the hospital after hitting the ground. However, in describing the scene, Kempadoo explained that the injured man fell with his face pointing towards the pole. Clifford had been working with the utility company for 25 years. Last month he was honoured for his long and dedicated service to the company. Some of the workers who had gone to Belvedere Squatting Area to replace the fallen pole said they were shocked to hear of their colleague’s passing, saying he will be missed.
His wife Mohinnie Clifford, also called “Sharron”, described her husband as a very hard and dedicated worker. “He was a very peaceful guy and a good husband to me, always loving.”
She said a friend was at the hospital when the injured man arrived. That friend, she added, telephoned a neighbour and told her that he was at the Anamayah Memorial Hospital. “When I go there, they had him in the theatre. I had to wait and the doctors let me go in and see him; they were pumping his heart but like it was too late,” the bereaved mother of two said as water settled in her eyes.
One of Clifford’s children, Lisa, referred to her father as the kind of person who always wanted to spend time with his family. While noting that her father loved his job, the 19-year-old said even before the linesman left home on Tuesday, he spent a little fun time with the family.
He leaves to mourn his two children, ages 19 and 16 and his wife.
Police have since launched an investigation into the incident. (Andrew Carmichael)

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