One man was seriously injured, while another young cricketer received abrasions when high winds described as a mini tornado sent the roof of the National Insurance Scheme pavilion on Carifesta Avenue flying yesterday morning.
The man, whose name was given as Selwyn, was injured when he tried desperately to escape from the pavilion which was rocking violently when high winds struck it shortly after 09:00 hours.
He sustained injuries to his head and foot and had to be rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital for medical attention.
Several youths who were in the pavilion at the time, waiting to commence their game of cricket, escaped unhurt.
Jason McKenzie was watching cricket on television in the pavilion when the rain started.
“My friend turn to me and say, like water coming in the building. So I stand up to see where the water coming from. I look outside and I see this zinc and the water coming up in a circle. We decide to investigate and we hear de glass start breaking ‘pax! pax!’ and we start running outside. They had some other guys out there who come to play cricket; they run inside,” McKenzie related.
This, he said, caused a bottleneck at the door as several persons jostled each other to move to safety.
While all of this was happening, the electrical wires began sparking, sending persons into more panic.
Eventually everyone concluded that the building was unsafe and they decided to leave. It was while they were leaving that the man, Selwyn, was struck about his body by falling pieces of wood as the walls of the facility caved in.
The caretaker /groundsman recalled that he was standing in the pavilion when rain came down.
“We see a breeze coming cross the ground. All the water (on the ground) start sweeping from the north to the south, then two zinc start fly in de air. Them boys was like ‘watch zinc flying!’” the caretaker explained.
One man became so afraid that when he saw that the wind had picked up several glass bottles and had them spinning in the air he held on for dear life to a container in the compound.
“I start hollering because I actually seeing what happening, with these guys trying to come through a small crease by the door. When the place collapsed, we start asking if everybody come out, if everybody alright,” the caretaker stated.
He said that the injured man had fallen on to the concrete pavement and remained motionless for several minutes.
“I asking he what happen and like he ain’t catch he self.”
The incident will certainly have an impact on a wedding reception which was planned for the venue yesterday.
When persons connected to the ceremony turned up and saw the damage that was done they were left at a loss as to what to do.
They told the media that since it would have been impossible to change the venue at such short notice, they will have to make do with the facility as it was.
Fortunately they had planned to use a large tent and only a part of the pavilion for the reception.
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