Tragedy befell the community of La Bonne Intention (LBI), East Coast Demerara, on Friday afternoon after a single-storey wooden building came crashing down, resulting in a child being crushed to death while another was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, nursing severe injuries.
Dead is 12-year-old Amber Richards of Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara, who was at the time vacationing at her aunt’s home while on break from school along with her bother, nine-year-old Josh Richards, who was also trapped in the ruins of the house.
According to reports reaching this publication the siblings were rocking in a hammock tied under the wooden building when the house came crashing down. The hammock was said to be attached to the main supporting beams on which the building was resting, approximately seven feet off the ground.
When this publication visited the scene, distraught family members were still in shock over the tragedy. Shortly after, the mother of the two children arrived at the residence, only to find what was once an elevated building lying flat on the ground while her children were already removed from the scene.
This publication spoke with the uncle of the children, Mahendra Shivtahal, who was at home when the house collapsed.
He said related that the children “went downstairs (below the house) in the hammock and like they were shaking and the house pull and drop.”
The man further noted that the incident took place at around 15:00hrs.
The uncle along with his wife and two children were in the building, while the two siblings were under the house.
A rescue team arrived at the residence approximately 30 minutes after receiving the report and only managed to remove the children from under the rubble after much effort. The 12-year-old had already taken her last breath before she was found while her brother remained conscious despite his injuries.
Meanwhile, a relative of the now dead child indicated that Richards was faced with severe medical complications as a child and required much investment to keep her alive. As such, they were all is dismay over her sudden demise.
The house was said to be standing for some 30 years and was set to undergo renovations. (Ashraf Dabi)