Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony today call on St Lucians to remember and say a prayer for the families of those who lost relatives or loved ones in yesterday’s tragic road accident.
The number of those killed has been revised downwards to five. The Ministry of Health said late Monday afternoon that it can verify that five persons are dead as a result of the incident in which a minibus plunged into the seas at Rock Gutter, a community between Owia and Fancy in north-eastern St. Vincent Monday morning.
Earlier tallies, based on police and other government sources, suggested that seven persons had been confirmed dead.
The St Lucia Prime Minister’s office today issued the following statement:
“The people of neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines were plunged into mourning on Monday, when a minibus crashed into the sea sometime before 8 a.m. At least five people, including students, lost their lives.
“ Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning & Social Security, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony has reached out to his counterpart, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, to lend his support.
“Just over three years ago, we suffered similar tragedy in Saint Lucia, and this must be a very difficult time for our friends and neighbours in St. Vincent. Dr. Gonsalves called this ‘a tragedy of national proportion,’ but a loss of this nature touches all of us throughout the region, and draws us closer together as a people.
“It is never easy to deal with an accident of this magnitude, and the sorrow and pain are magnified when children are involved. I call on my fellow Saint Lucians to spare a thought and say a prayer for those families, who must be in such turmoil right now. Our children are of paramount importance, and I take this opportunity to add my voice, my thoughts and prayers for the schools, the communities and the homes that have been impacted by the terrible accident that took place on Monday morning.”
Meanwhile, as of this morning, the Coast Guard and police in St. Vincent and the Grenadines continued rescue and recovery efforts in the rough seas off the north coast.
Neeka Anderson-Isaacs, health communications and promotions officer in the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment, said that two persons are missing and 10 are hospitalised at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) and four at the hospital in Georgetown.
The ministry said that approximately 21 passengers, 14 of whom are said to be students, were in the bus when the incident occurred.
According to I-Witness News the driver of the ill-fated vehicle, who is alive and is himself nursing injuries, reportedly assisted in the rescue efforts.