Saturday, April 20, 2024

Tragic news rocks family in Guyana


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IT WAS the worst news anyone could have heard – especially if they were several miles away.
“After I heard the news, I went down on my knees and prayed,” Samantha Gobin said Monday after arriving from Guyana.
Gobin, 27, and Robena Loo, 43, are aunts of Guyanese-born Pearl Cornelius, who was among six women who perished in last Friday night’s fire at the Campus Trendz store, Tudor Street, The City.
The two, who are here to take back their niece’s body, spoke of the anguish and pain when they learnt that Cornelius had been trapped in the building.
Breaking down in tears, Gobin said she was preparing to go to a wake [after-funeral gathering] in Georgetown when she received the news.
The telephone kept ringing as they got details about the developments with the fire.
They were, however, not receiving the information they were longing to hear about their treasured niece.
“The firemen can’t out the fire yet; there was too much smoke; nobody can’t go in the building yet; nobody ain’t going to the back of the building where the girls are,” were among the sketchy reports relayed to them.
Cornelius’ family had their hopes raised when they received a telephone call that one person had been taken from the burning building alive.
“When I heard that, I figured, well, the firemen now reached the girls and soon ‘Amanda’ would be coming out,” Gobin recalled.
But their dreams of good news vanished about 30 minutes later when another telephone call informed them that their niece was among the dead.
The shocking news prompted a series of screams that echoed across the neighbourhood.
“My sister started to scream and my mother couldn’t take it any more . . . it was just too much,” she added.
The last time Gobin saw her niece was last July when she came to Barbados.
The family is now awaiting the coroner’s report and release of Cornelius’ body to arrange for a burial in Guyana.
Plans are also being made for a memorial service at  St Patrick’s Cathedral. (TS)


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