GWI trainee electrocuted at Linden Plant
Rhett Cole, a 22-year-old trainee attached to the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI)’s Linden Operations, was yesterday electrocuted at the Company’s Water Treatment and Supply Plant at Mackenzie, Linden. Cole worked as an apprentice through the Board of Industrial Training
According to GWI’s Divisional Operations Manager, Rawle Friday, Cole was part of a team addressing an electrical phasing problem at the abovementioned facility, with assistance from technicians from the Linden Electricity Company Incorporated (LECI), when the incident occurred.
Cole’s family was understandably devastated by the news. His elder brother, Rhys, said that the family received a call from GWI shortly after 08:00hrs informing them that Rhett was involved in an accident, and had been rushed to the Linden Hospital Complex.
Rhys added that when he got to the hospital his brother was not breathing, but hospital staff was still ‘working’ on him.
The dead youth’s foster father, Claudius Thorman, said that Rhett had left their home (Apartment Two of the Multilateral School compound), shortly after 07:00hrs for work, on his bicycle.
His father, Clifton Cole, of One Mile Extension,Wismar, said he received the news of his son’s accident shortly after 10:00 hrs.
The senior Cole said he was told that his son was asked to remove a fuse. “I don’t know whether he had on gloves or what… I don’t know what transpired.’’
According to the man, electricians from LECI had taken off the switch that controlled a panel, and all three of them had subsequently tested the equipment and there was no power.
However his son Rhys, who claims to have some knowledge of electricity, opined that even though the power to the breaker was turned off, there might still have been some residual ‘current’ left in the equipment. The young man based his theory on the fact that his brother was not ‘pitched’ away, as usually happens with victims of electrocution, as there was not enough current to do that.
Rhys added that his brother had succeeded in removing the breaker, and said to the other workers who were a short distance away, “Boy this thing really heavy!’’
After uttering those words he fell down, according to Rhys.
Rhett Cole was the third of five children for his mother Susanne Rhius.
Meanwhile, GWI stated in a release that it is awaiting reports from the Company’s Occupational Health and Safety Officer and the Police to provide further details on the incident.
“At this time we cannot provide details on the matter until a full investigation has been conducted by the police and the Company’s own Health and Safety Officer.
GWI’s acting Chief Executive, Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Niles visited the scene and stated that his thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the deceased.
“We are deeply saddened by this and wish to extend our heartfelt sympathy to Rhett’s family. GWI will provide all assistance to the Linden Police with their investigation.”