Lethem driver/mechanic succumbs to ‘third degree’ burns after generator pumping fuel from damaged truck explodes

Dead: Shawhinshaw Alley

One week after suffering third degree burns all over his body after a series of unfortunate events lead to same, 35-year-old Shawhinshaw Alley called ‘Imty’ a driver/mechanic of Left Bank Tabatinga Drive, Lethem succumbed to his injuries at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Based on information reaching this publication, Alley was employed by another to drive a full  fuel tanker, GRR 1622, from Providence on the East Bank of Demerara to Lethem.

On arrival at the Frenchman Trail, Upper Essequibo River he was forced to stop on the trail due to a broken bridge.

This publication was informed that after several days had passed and they were unable to pass that point, he and several other lorry drivers who were stuck at that point decided to use another route through the Frenchman Hill area.

However, the alternative route was more difficult and required the use of a winch to pull the vehicles up the hill. Unfortunately for Alley, as the winch was pulling his lorry up the hill, the wire snapped resulting in the fuel tanker rolling down the hill and toppling on its side before coming to a halt.

Arrangements were subsequently made by Alley’s employer to have the fuel from the now damaged fuel tanker transferred into another truck that was reportedly driven to the area by the employer.

On Sunday last July, 1 at around 15:00h in the company of his boss and several other workers the fuel from the damaged tanker was being discharged using an electric fuel pump which was powered by a generator.

During this process the fuel pump reportedly encountered a problem and Alley who was also a mechanic was trying to remedy the problem.

This publication was informed however, that in the process of troubleshooting the problem with the pump, some of the fuel from the hose spewed unto Alley and the generator which allegedly ignited quickly and spread to Alley’s body that was also soaked.

The generator after the fire was extinguished

Workers tried for a while to put out the fire and subsequently rushed Alley to the Mabura Health Centre but the ambulance was reportedly not available.

He was then rushed to the Linden Hospital Complex and arrived there at around 21:30h.

On arrival, at the hospital Alley received treatment for ‘third degree’ burns from his neck down to his feet.

Alley who was alive at the time reportedly told the police that in the process of discharging the fuel he saw a spark and the fuel burst into flames causing him to receive burns.

He was then transported to the GPHC via an ambulance and was admitted a patient in the ICU.

On July 7, almost one week later, Alley succumbed to his injuries while still a patient at the GPHC ICU.

His body is presently at the GPHC mortuary awaiting a postmortem examination.

Investigations are currently ongoing.


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