Daily Archives: August 27, 2007

Barbados Apartment Collapse – Day 2 Under The Rubble – RESCUE NOW BODY RECOVERY – New Collapse At Site


Barbados Prays For The Family & Rescue Team

Codrington Family Trapped: Donavere 30, Cassandra 27, Shaquanda 7, Shaquille 3, Yashiro 1 (Donica 3 months not trapped) (photo from Nation News)

Reports from witnesses confirm Donavere was alive and talking immediately after the collapse – had an injured leg.

10:49pm Barbados Time – Monday 27, 2007 – Voice of Barbados Radio

New Collapse At Rescue Site

Voice of Barbados Radio live reporting now. Not sure how bad.

Attorney General Dale Marshall is being briefed and he will then speak to the media.

Barbados Defense Force team members about to go back down into the hole!

Rain is starting to impact the recovery efforts.

Attorney General Now Speaking – 11:18PM

– There was some debris coming from the roof of the cavern so the media site was evacuated.

– Plan is to tear down the entire apartment building. The new collapse was small and is not in the part of the cavern where the bodies are thought to be.

– The weather was expected and plans were made to direct surface water away from the site. The Defense Force entered the remaining apartment building today and removed some personal items for the residents. Now talking about cadaver dogs earlier indicating an area of interest. This area is away from where the latest fall of material happened.

– It is thought that the latest fall of material did not further cover the bodies.

– Miami Dade & Barbados Emergency teams not on scene right now. Police, Min of Housing and Barbados Defense Force will work through the night. (Others had been working for two days straight)

– 11:26pm Interview over.

Maps Of Cave System Existed Prior To Disaster!

From CBC…

Rescue efforts called off
Monday, 27 August 2007

Disaster officials called off efforts to rescue five members of a family trapped in collapsed apartment building after they concluded that there was no sign of life beneath the rubble.

Minister of Home Affairs Dale Marshall said the “hard decision” to go into recovery mode was taken after a specially imported cadaver dog from the Miami Dade Police Department picked up signs of two bodies in the rubble, while two dogs trained to discover life form could not detect any survivors in the building which collapsed early Sunday morning.

“We have had to take the serious decisions to move into recovery mode … recovery mode as you know is when you move into the mode of removing the bodies, even though we are still having the an eye to the possibility of some survivors,” Marshall said.

He said close members of the couple – aged 30 and 29 – and the three children – aged one to seven – were informed of the decision to shift the operation and giving professional counselling.

Marshall said the 12 members of the search and rescue team flown in from Miami late Sunday night, along with the large team of local rescuers, would press ahead to complete the recovery process before expected showers made the difficult terrain more treacherous for the rescuers.

Meanwhile, the minister said initial seismic tests conducted at the site concluded that there was no need to widen the evacuation area beyond the 500 feet radius which was established hours after the collapse.

“We were able to procure up-to-date maps of the extensive cave network and the seismic team saw no evidence on which we could expect any further movement,” the Minister said, noting that the five families evacuated on Sunday would remain in government shelters until alternative accommodation could be arranged.

… from CBC (link here)

11:39am Barbados Time – Monday 27, 2007 – Voice of Barbados Radio

PRIME MINISTER ARTHUR – Live interview on Voice of Barbados


– Fear of approaching tropical waves.

– All the best efforts and the best equipment and rescue teams from Barbados and USA have not found evidence of life.

– While they are in a recovery mode, they are still hoping (but they are now “expediting” the removal of rubble.)

– Other Ministers and experts speaking… I’ll detail it when I listen to the recording again.

– Barbados does NOT have modern sounding equipment to map the extent of any caves from the surface! Equipment must be flown in and is not here yet.

– 11:51am – Media Conference ends with Prime Minister speaking again.

8:30am Barbados Time – Monday 27, 2007 – Voice of Barbados Radio

– Recorded Interview from earlier this morning, 6am or so, with Barbados Rescue Coordinator Dr. Brian Charles

“Still a rescue, not a recovery” but doesn’t sound at all hopeful.

– “Will take another 12 to 24 hours”

– Building was stabilized at 3:50am Monday morning and two US special dogs were sent in, but found no indications of life. At the time of the recorded interview the third dog had yet to go in – but I think I saw a report on Barbados Underground blog that third dog went in and found nothing.

– 500 foot evacuation radius still in force. No mention of expanding this radius.

8:00am Barbados Time – Monday 27, 2007 – Voice of Barbados Radio

Announcer just stated that the USA Dade-Miami Rescue Team have worked all night and report “No signs of life found by specially trained dog team”

INTERNET RADIO FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL READERS… Voice Of Barbados 92.9fm (Windows Media Player needed)

Stories On Barbados Free Press From Yesterday – Day 1…

Brittons Hill Barbados – Apartment Building Collapse Into Known Cave – Family Of 5 Trapped – US Miami Dade Rescue Team Goes To Work

Stories From Day 2 – Print & Online Media…

Barbados Underground (main blog here)

David has some overnight reports in the comments – detailing the rescue efforts with the US special dogs finding no signs of life. (Comment link here – Main Barbados Underground link here)

Pull! Push! (main link here)

Amit from Pull! Push! blog drove by the disaster scene at 2am last night on his way home. He didn’t see a whole lot happening, but his first person report is the stuff that blogging is made of. Although we on the island could hear radio reports and watch the telly, the rest of the world looked to the bloggers as the primary source of coverage for the first 24 hours. Amit was part of that first 24 hours. Read about his 2am observations at Pull! Push!

Nation News…

Witness: I spoke to trapped man


Going Down

Mum Still Holding Out Hope

15 Forced To Pack Up

Note – Many other stories on the Nation News. Check their sidebar listing.

The Advocate…

Rescuers Get Moving At 10:30am

Stress Runs High On Disaster Site


Filed under Barbados, Disaster

Barbados Apartment Collapse – First Response Of Barbados Rescue Team Took 5 Hours! (Newspaper Report)

NOTE: For now, we are going to keep the comments on the collapse and rescue confined to our original story – which is updated as much as we can…

Brittons Hill Barbados – Apartment Building Collapse Into Known Cave – Family Of 5 Trapped


Barbados Advocate is reporting that it took over FIVE HOURS for the first rescue team to reach the scene of the apartment collapse.

Here is the article…

Rescuers Get Moving At 10:30am

THE first visible attempt to rescue a trapped family of five was at 10:30 a.m. yesterday morning.

After officials assessed the safety surrounding the collapsed apartment building at Arch Cot, Brittons Cross Road, St. Michael, it was five hours later that onlookers in the area exclaimed their delight that something from what they could see was finally happening.

At 10:30 a.m., one official from the Barbados Defence Force and one from the Barbados Fire Service both outfitted with oxygen tanks were lifted by one of the three cranes into the cavity but sadly no one else was lifted out with them. As time passed, debris was lifted out by the crane, including one part of the roof, which was moved at 12: 52 p.m. By 1: 38 p.m. more debris was removed.

At 1: 42 p.m. equipment, including a generator and more shovels were taken into the cordoned off area by members of the Barbados Fire Service. However, 1: 45 p.m. was also a critical moment as there was some hope when rescuers called for silence since it was believed that they heard voices in the cave. Everyone was silent, engines and even generators were turned off but nothing was heard.

Following a heated debate earlier in the day over the placement of the media in the area, at 1: 55 p.m. officials allowed some of the media personnel from each media house to take footage and pictures of the cavity where the family of five remained trapped. At 2: 15 p.m. a car that was also in the cavity was lifted out by a crane.

… original story at Barbados Advocate (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Disaster