An Enterprise, East Coast Demerara family was plunged into a state of shock when a concrete stairway fell, crushing the skull of a 17-year old boy yesterday morning.
Travis Mangal, a former student of the Golden Grove Secondary School was standing under the solid internal concrete stairway of his cousin’s unfinished house at Coldingen when it came crashing down killing him almost instantly.
It took relatives who were at the scene several minutes to pull his lifeless body from under the thick concrete slabs.
Relatives blamed the poor work of a contractor for the mishap since there is evidence that the stairway was not properly supported.
“Dis step can’t tek de weight and then is straight steel,” a relative who gave his name as Arnold told this newspaper, adding that the stairway was constructed about four weeks ago.
Kaieteur News understands that Mangal, who was awaiting his results from this year’s CSEC examinations, would normally lend a hand at his cousin’s under-construction house at Coldingen on weekends.
Last weekend was no different.
According to reports, he was standing under the recently constructed stairway awaiting the arrival of the contractor when it crashed down on him.
A neighbour, who heard the sound of the crashing stairs, raised an alarm and one of Mangal’s relatives who was nearby went to see what had happened.
He was shocked to see Mangal pinned under several thousand pounds of concrete.
The man called for help but initially no one responded. It was not until the owner of the property arrived with the contractor that further assistance was sought and eventually the young man’s body was pulled from the rubble.
“I was home lying down when his father come by me and say ‘leh we go over by scheme’ he hear a step fall down pon Travis. So I get up immediately and I drive over. When I come over I see Travis fold up under this step. A few friends help we prize up dis step and we pull he out,” Arnold said.
Owner of the unfinished house Tony Khrishna, a cousin of the dead man, said that he began construction of the property in March.
He said that yesterday he was on his way to the property with the contractor when he received a telephone call from his brother who was already there.
“When I come, the step was still there, so we had to gather people to remove the step from off him. I was told that he (Travis) was cleaning up here for us to work today and the step fall down,” Khrishna said.
He laid the blame squarely at the feet of his contractor.
“It is substandard work, yeah, because you can see the steel at the bottom instead of the middle.
And if the contractor had put something to support the step, that could have helped. I really feel disappointed,” Khrishna stated.
He said that the contractor who was at the scene yesterday morning and saw what happened has since disappeared.
He told this newspaper that in light of the tragedy he will sell the unfinished property.
“I will just shut everything down and sell it out. I will never live here, trust me,” he stated.
A post mortem examination will be performed on Mangal’s body today to confirm the cause of his death.
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