Two men who were buried alive after part of Pigotts Road in Burma collapsed on them while they were installing pipes for the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) on Thursday, are recovering well after treatment at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre.
The injured men have been identified as Kazeer Abbott, 20, and Joyle Edwards, 41, who work with the Water Business Division at APUA.
The workmen were preparing to install a six-inch pipe underground when the asphalt above collapsed on Abbott, burying him.
Edwards went to his rescue, but he too got buried as the road further collapsed.
Fortunately, other workmen were on the scene and the two were rescued. The same backhoe which dug the hole to install the pipe was used to get them out.
Fire Brigade Sergeant Antonio Pryce, one of the first responders, said the men reported feeling vibrations while working in the dugout road before it collapsed shortly after 10 a.m.
“While carrying out the maintenance work, there were other heavy-duty equipment to include trucks, driving, passing them at the site … they could feel the vibration of the road as these heavy-duty vehicles were passing,” he said.
He said there was a very strong vibration at one point, “and the instant they felt the vibration the entire piece of road caved in and collapsed on them, covering one completely and the other worker was covered from the shoulders down.”
Neither of the two men was wearing safety gear when emergency teams arrived. Sergeant Pryce said they ought to have been wearing safety gear while working, but he did not know whether they were taken off after the freak accident, or if they had not been wearing them in the first place.
Having established command of the scene after getting the emergency call at 10:25 a.m., the fireman and his team, along with Emergency Medical Personnel (EMS) treated the APUA workers and prepped them for transportation to hospital.
The men were deemed to be in critical condition when they left the scene. Yesterday they were stable and had been put on a ward.
X-rays were done to see whether they suffered any fractures, and one of the men had to fitted with a
neck brace on Thursday. But the extent of his injury was unknown up to Friday evening.