Friday, April 12, 2024

Sad vigil


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BARBADIANS at home and abroad remain gripped by last week’s City fire that took the lives of six young women.
And yesterday, tears again flowed freely as friends, relatives, and a few strangers returned to the scene of one of this country’s most horrible tragedies to remember the fallen.
Flowers were placed on the fire-singed sidewalk, and high emotions were the order of the evening at Tudor Street, where Campus Trendz employees Kellishaw Olliviere, 24, Shanna Giffith, 18, Pearl Cornelius, 18, as well as shoppers Kelly-Ann Welch, 24, Tiffany Harding, 23, and Nikkita Belgrave, 18, perished after two robbers firebombed the boutique with customers inside.
The vigil had been publicised on the social networking site Facebook last weekend, and a few late-evening shoppers and commuters on their way home paused to pay their respects just after 5:30 p.m.
Quinsel Harper, the aunt of customer Tiffany Harding, attended the vigil with four of the dead girl’s cousins, and couldn’t hold back her grief.
“This is real sad, though. We [the family] have been there for each other through calls and text messages,” she told the DAILY NATION.
Kimberly Coppin, a close friend of shoppers Harding and her best friend, Kelly-Ann Welch, broke down in tears.
Also yesterday, New York’s police chief, during the state’s Labour Day celebration, said his department could offer its services to the Government of Barbados if it needed assistance with solving the crime.
Grief-stricken relatives of two of the deceased also arrived here yesterday to take the bodies of loved ones home.
Colleen Olliviere arrived from St Vincent last night to identify the body of her daughter, Kellishaw, who had been living here for the past five years and was an employee of Campus Trendz.
Colleen was scheduled to visit Barbados later this month to see her daughter, as she had pleaded with her to stay in Barbados and save money instead of attending Vincy Mas’ last July.
Samantha Gobin, 27, and Robena Loo, 43, also faced similar circumstances yesterday, arriving to take home the body of their Guyana-born niece, Pearl Cornelius, who also worked at the Tudor Street store.
“After I heard the news, I went down on my knees and prayed,” Gobin said yesterday.
Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin has also called a 3 p.m. Press conference today to provide the nation with details of the investigation.


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