UPDATE: Two GDF ranks critical, several others injured in fireworks explosion

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Several ranks attached to the Coast Guard section of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) are nursing various degrees of burn injuries about their bodies during a firework explosion today (Saturday, February 22, 2020).

The explosives were being prepared for the annual fireworks display tonight to ushering Guyana’s 50th Republic Day celebrations tomorrow (Sunday, February 23, 2020).

INews understands that at least two ranks are critical with one rank sustaining more than 90 percent burns about his body.

Reports are that around 14:10h, the ranks were transporting and packing the explosives when the incident occurred at the Coast Guard Headquarter in Ruimveldt, Georgetown.

This publication was told that CR Rose and Issiah Gordon are said to be the two ranks who sustained the most severe burns. 

According to neighbours, they were indoors when they heard a loud explosion but assumed it was an electrical issue.

However, loud shouts from within the Coast Guard base prompted the neighbours to rush out, upon which they realised that several army ranks were being placed into vehicles to be transported to the hospital.

One woman related that she noticed a solider whose entire arm and upper body appeared to be burnt being rushed into an ambulance.

Another resident recalled observing a few ranks with burn injuries laying on the ground before they were assisted by their colleagues to seek emergency medical attention.

However, no official word has been given on the incident by the GDF.

Several police investigators are currently outside of the gates of the Coast Guard base after being denied access into the compound to probe the incident.