Residents near the former Defense Ministry building in Congo Town were last Thursday held aghast when a man identified only as Baby was accidentally entrapped under the rubble of a building demolished by the Chinese company constructing the new Ministerial Complex.
“He was collecting sand between heavy broken pieces of concrete when he mistakenly stepped on one of them which dragged him beneath several other pieces,” John Kollie, an eyewitness told the Daily Observer.
Nearly 300 persons, including police officers, joined the effort to rescue the victim from the debris to safety. After two hours of struggle, 18 men were able to remove the debris and rescue the victim, who survived his ordeal and was rushed to the JFK hospital for treatment.
An eyewitness said, “Baby was under the concrete for more than an hour and only God’s intervention led people to get him out to safety.”
A woman believed to be the victim’s sister fainted when she rushed to the scene and learned of what had happened to her brother. Several other women burst into tears when they saw the man trapped under the ruins.
The debris was leftover from the former Ministry of Defense building, demolished recently to give way for the construction of a new Ministerial Complex near Peace Island.
A good number of community residents engage in sand mining for sale at the site and without much concern for what could happen to them, rush there daily to haul sand as a means of survival.
“We haul sand from there for sale at L$500 a bag,” Peter Sampson, 25, said.
He told the Daily Observer that community sand mining has become their only means of survival.