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Safety harness fails to save man from death fall
A safety harness meant to protect paramedic Anand Ramnarine instead became a deadly trap as he fell 50 feet to his death at the construction site of Anand Low Price Wholesale Supermarket. The accident occurred around 11 am at Anand's warehouse building, South Trunk Road, La Romaine. The supermarket has not yet opened and witnesses said Ramnarine was spraypainting a sign as a favour to his brother, Adesh, when tragedy struck.
More than a dozen people were milling about at the site when the forklift which Ramnarine was standing on, suddenly tilted to the left side and collapsed, plummeting him to the ground. The harness, fastened to a bucket on the forklift, prevented Ramnarine from jumping off to safety. Witness Kevin Mitchell said they were working in the yard when they heard the crash. “We ran out and then we saw him lying on the ground with blood coming from his mouth. A bone from his arm was protruding out. He never regained consciousness,” Mitchell said.
As scores of passers-by stopped to assist, security officers at the site closed the gates, barring media workers from entering. Ramnarine's father, Dhanpaul, demanded an investigation into the incident.
Dhanpaul said Ramnarine worked as a paramedic and ambulance driver with Trinidad Offshore Fabricators Company (TOFCO) but was recently laid off as the job slowed. He said Ramnarine was helping his brother, Adesh, paint a 125-foot sign outside of the building. Adesh is the owner of Southzone Painting Company.
Dhanpaul said his son had plans to finish rebuilding their home. “He was always doing things around the house. There is a cricket ground behind our home and water was flooding in the back. He ran a pump to pull out the water and he told me to monitor it,” Dhanpaul recalled. Two months ago, Ramnarine's wife, Dhanmattie, gave birth to their first son, Ajnish. Mother of the deceased, Hansrajie Ramnarine, was inconsolable as she gazed at the body of her son lying on the ground. Hansrajie said she got a call from Adesh saying Ramnarine “did not make it.”
“I did not expect to see my son in that condition. My child did not deserve to die like that,” Hansrajie said.
Meanwhile, police officers said the incident may have occurred because of problems with the machinery.
“We have to get the authorities to inspect the machinery so there could be authentication about whether it was defective,” a senior officer said. Several employees were interviewed yesterday. Owner of Anand Low Price Supermarket, Anand Ramesar, declined to speak to reporters yesterday. Security guards at the facility said “the boss did not want any reporters on the compound.” Sgt Darryl Corrie and Cpl Rishi Ramsaran, of the Oropouche Police Station, are spearheading investigations.
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