Barbados Apartment Collapse – Day 4 – Large Boulders Removed, No Bodies Yet 5:30am

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

5:30am Barbados Time – Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Overnight Starcom news just provided an update. The two large boulders have been removed and workers continue to remove rubble.

No bodies found as yet.

** We forgot to mention that the Miami-Dade rescue team left Barbados on Tuesday morning. See CBC article here


Filed under Barbados, Disaster

44 responses to “Barbados Apartment Collapse – Day 4 – Large Boulders Removed, No Bodies Yet 5:30am

  1. John

    We are all invited in today’s Nation to a meeting on Wednesday September 26 at the North Stars Cultural and Social Centre to discuss the proposed luxury resort development at Harrison’s Point St. Lucy.

    The meeting will commence at 7:30 pm.

    The meeting is a requirement of the Town Planning Department as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment that was conducted in 2006.

    The report can be viewed at the offices of the Town Planning Department, The Garrison, St. Michael;

    The North Stars Cultural and Social Club, Crab Hill St. Lucy;

    Golden Crust Bakery, Maycocks St. Lucy;

    and the Speightstown Library

    from Wednesday29th August to Tuesday 25th September 2007.


    1. Is the report is copyrighted like the one about the Water Park?

    2. Could it be put on the Internet so Bajans overseas who might have knowledge of the area can make their inputs?

    3. What do we need another Luxury Resort for when we have 2 dozen plus hotels which are closed and visitor arrivals are supposedly down?

    4. Is there an analysis of the coral limestone in that area? Where are the caves in this area?

    5. Where in the real Physical Development Plan from 1991 does this Luxury Resort Development appear?

    6. Is it in the Physical Development Plan (amended 2003)?

    7. Are we satisfied that we need or indeed want such a luxury resort development?

    8. Whose baby is this now?

  2. Wishing in Vain

    John, If the right people are involved in this project we can talk until the cows come home and it wil make absolutely no difference to the outcome the project.
    In essence it will be approved even before this meeting takes place, we are only spinning tops in mud when we talk about meetings such as this one.

  3. John


    ……. I agree, but isn’t the disaster at Brittons Hill enough cause to make us stop and think for a while?

    Wonder if anyone wrote to object to the proposed change in the covenant on the Dover Convention Centre.

    I respect the rights of a property owner to seek to maximise the value of his/her/its property but our country’s land resource is finite and some sort of involvement of all concerned needs to happen.

    It is like a group of people in a moses on the wide ocean. The ones in the middle can’t decide to cut up and burn the oars to keep warm just because they happen to be the closest to the oars.

    They perhaps can’t see the land or the ship that the ones in front or at the back can.

    There has to be a consensus, a plan ….. or all will sink. … and this is not communism, just common sense.

  4. John

    Maybe we should just declare a moritorium on new construction pending something definitive on how our island works!!

    Let’s try and keep the oars intact as long as we can.

  5. Wishing in Vain

    Especially when one considers that the new Condo block at the Coconut Creek Club location is also sinking this to having been built on a cavern.
    Money, money,money once you got it in Barbados you can get anything done and passed, our politicians are sadly not immune to taking bribes.

  6. Wishing in Vain

    What more will I hear from Marshall they are now suffering from equipment fatigue, well, well, well what a load of rubbish, can you believe that a so called intelligent man can seriously discuss equipment fatigue ?
    My guess is that they will soon have to retire to rest the equipment !!!!

  7. Anonymous

    anyone who knows the area knows there’s a small gully ravine between coconut creek property and cliff restaurant. locals of the area will tell you that when the gully running the water runoff will go right under the west coast main road where you can see it, but apparently it doesn’t make its way directly to the sea. it takes a left turn towards the south and disappears under coconut creek. this i’ve been told but cannot verify for myself but if it’s true we don’t have to wonder how the limestone under the coconut creek property is being eroded and dissolved from time to time when big rain come down from up on top the hill. how long has this been happening? how many thousand years before man set foot? no wonder the new and heavier structure is settling. the original coconut creek buildings were light by comparison, but now they are building pre-conco(which is far far denser stuff)monstrosities, that’s another matter

  8. John

    If you really want to appreciate what a puzzle our undergound is then go up to St. Philip just east of River Plantation.

    There is a drainage ditch which carries water from the Three Houses Spring that terminates more than a mile from the sea. No prizes for guessing how River got its name.

    Take the turning opposite the one that would take you to Bottom Bay and drive inland about half a mile.

    You will see what looks like a quarry but may be a collapsed cave with several wells in it. The constant flow of water just disappears into the wells with no bagging.

    It ends up at the coast, perhaps at Bottom Bay.

    Last time I was up that side they were putting in roads to develop the area!! Hopefully someone looked at what is underground if not ….

    Lord have mercy!

  9. Wishing in Vain

    What more will I hear from Marshall they are now suffering from equipment fatigue so who knows when.
    He may instruct them to take the rest of the week off and go to the beach and relax.
    We are making a real fiasco of this situation, come on Marshall take your finger out of there and get the job completed with haste.

  10. Anonymous

    even before the prison had to be rlocaed they always had plans for that area, so much oprah winfields peice of land adjecent to the us base, a hotel or whatever is to spread from harrisons point up to harissons which is the the north east

  11. cammy

    Maybe so geologist could go exploring and show us the maize which we have underground. I bet it is a spectacle under there…. wow!

  12. Tango

    @Wishing in Vain
    While I agree with your disappointment in hearing Attorney General Marshall AGAIN on the radio instead of a real recovery I still think that we should all THINK before we speak.

    Equipment fatigue is not that the equipment is tired but that like every other piece of man made equipment and our own bodies it has a “peak efficiency” and after this point is reached the efficiency is radically decreased. Plus excavation works is extremely hard even on the toughest equipment. When I was in St. Lucia I saw some excavator have the teeth ripped off the bucket so don’t speak about stuff you know nothing about.

  13. Wishing in Vain

    Hopefully those that are working on this project will eventually get their rewards of their efforts in the recovery of the bodies for their loved ones and bring some closeure to this sad event.
    Secondly that those that have committed equipment, time and resources will get paid by the gov’t within a reasonable time frame unlike the ones that worked with the fire at the prison or with CWC.

  14. Wishing in Vain

    With the resources available to them there should be no lack of equipment at their disposal that is a load of rubbish.
    But if it gives him another photo opportunity go for it Marshall.

  15. liiiiiiiiii

    i have a son for donavere codrington and it is so sad to see what happen to him. i believe that something should have been done sooner

  16. Wishing in Vain

    My best wishes are extended to you, and yes I to agree that too much time has been doodled away in this event.

  17. J. Payne

    Re: John
    August 29th, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Something I would add. For the past few years now I’ve been hearing folks in Northern regions of Barbados (I’m A Ch. Ch. centre person myself.) speak about not being able to draw adequate water supply. The comments seem to say this problem is most bouund to happen during some mornings when usage is heavy. It is clear Barbados probably needs something like a water tower in the northern part of the island that can store water. While this may help, it may take one or more of these to rid Barbados of the issue. Until then, have any water usage assessments been done on projecting the total water usage for this new complex? How will water usage by this facility effect the current water resources for local area residents?

  18. NotNiceNews

    CBCTV tried to get a camera team in there today but was prevented from doing so – when asked why, they were told that the smell factor was getting to be pretty darned bad for those working in the hole, and that when the bodies came out, they would be likely to be in pieces.
    Think about it – four days decay, some rain to help the process, late August heat – you do the Math.
    When the recovery does actually happen, the average general public is not going to want to see it.
    Sounds like it should be happening soon,
    but you don’t wanna be there, trust me.

    Nothing to see, people
    – move along now, move along
    and you’d be well advised to do just that
    (if you want to sleep that night, without nightmares)
    just preparing you for the eventual outcome of this nasty mess

  19. utterly disgusted!!

    How dare the Nation be so INSENSITIVE as to publish the headline “BODY CALL” on the friont page of today’s paper. I feel sick in the pit of my stomach. In 9/11, all 3000 were treated as sacred as each identified body was eventually recovered. Those not identified or never found were treated with the same respect. These people are not dos and among the supposedly dead are four children. Good lord, imagine the Linton, Codringtons an extended families waking up to this traumatic headline. All this to sell a paper? Those precious children and their married parents are trapped until further notice aka found. There is no “body call”. The nation should hang their heads in shame. I heard they may close up the place and do a suitable memorial. I hope if they do that (and this does not give closure), that the seismologist from Trinidad advises in case another shift occurs and there is a shift in the resting place of the bodies. No original ideas. This comes straight from Bob Murray at the Utah mine. And can somebody tell Dale Marshall to look as thoug he he said and speak witha more sombre tone. If he wants to wear his baseball cap and polo shirts, can’y he choose darker colors, speak in a more sombre tone. Lawyers should know how to use inflection in their voices appropriately. He is not at a fun fair.
    May those beloved children rest with the angels and may their parents rest in piece.

  20. utterly disgusted!!

    those typos are from vexation. As for Liiiiiiiiiiii,
    my dear, God will comfort you. Don’t let your child forget Daddy Donovere but don’t unnecessarily traumatise the child with ghoulish details. I am sure you know this already.
    I was saying that Dale Marshall needs to speak and dress as though he cares and not look like he is about to buy pudding n souse and cock up his foot on a rock and watch cricket. This is a major catastrophe. Did you’ll see that aerial shot. Dang, scary.

  21. Hants

    This is a terrible tragedy. This family is suffering terribly.

    Let us hope that the caring side of Barbadians kicks in to help them through this.

    It is obvious that everyone has been doing the best they can but it is very difficult to quickly dismantle a collapsed building in a manner that is safe.

    God will take care of those who have died.

    We must now help the families left behind.

  22. littleboy

    Sad to say, this episode has been turned into an ugly political campaign!!!
    Where are the emergency experts like Ms Thomas, are they suffering with laryngitis?
    Dale Marshall is making the same error as Mia Mottley (the prison burning), aided and abetted by CBC .
    Let us all pray for the family and show some respect for the victims (alive and/or deceased).

  23. a cousin of don

    To Liiiiiiiiiiii

    I hope you raise Don’s son good and strong just like his daddy

  24. Wishing in Vain

    utterly disgusted!! you can only do so if you feel it and have brain rather than having election fever.

  25. Wishing in Vain

    When Noel Lynch can respond to the question of what would you say to the families of the deceased and his first response is to laugh, it is a very sad comment about the sincerity involved in the handling of this matter, I always knew that he was an arrogant , self centered person but this evening proved the extent of his stupidity.

  26. a cousin of don


    That’s all they ever do laugh, but they cant laugh forever- Owen,Dale or Noel.

  27. Wishing in Vain

    Trust me I was dumbfounded when I heard the idiots response to the question it was on the 9.30 news tonight on VOB what a flipping clown he is.

  28. Lying in Vain

    Wishing in Vain,

    Your LIES have caught up with you.

    Those of us who have been following the LIVE REPORTS carried by VOB clearly heard when the Attorney General Dale Marshall spoke about a break being taken because of the fatigue of the operators of the equipment removing the rubble from that massive hole.They had been working almost non-stop since Sunday.

    What are you hoping to achieve with all these shamesless stupid lies?

    Apartment removed to protect workers

    Web Posted – Wed Aug 29 2007

    After two straight days of work, fatigue of rescue workers, and the instability of the remaining apartment building formerly inhabited by the Codrington family work was slowed down at Brittons Cross Road.

    On Monday night and early Tuesday morning, the rescue effort had to turn away from the recovery efforts and towards removing the remaining parts of the apartment building that still hung perilously above the heads of the workers.

    Also a point of major importance, was the creation of a ramp – an entranceway into the cave – that allowed heavy vehicles to enter the cavern and remove the debris in a faster manner than had previously been removed.

    Attorney General, Dale Marshall spoke to the media at 11:20 p.m. on Monday night, and explained the reason for these new tactics. Over the last few hours we had to carefully reassess our tactics and strategies as we had the opportunity to create an entrance into the cavern.

    He explained that the straps which had been previously holding up the remainder of Shalom apartments, which had housed the Codrington family and others, were going to be removed so that the apartment building could be removed.

    Horrifying Crash

    Previous to the demolition, residents were allowed to remove furniture from the collapsing edifice along with those from surrounding houses. With help from members of the Barbados Defence Force, everything from large appliances to the smallest mementoes were removed.

    By 9:30 p.m., officials from the Barbados Light & Power were seen removing wires from the apartment and the huge crane was removed from the area, signs that the demolition would soon begin.

    The media was allowed a birds eye view of a massive arch, which was created during the excavation. Minutes after, during a press briefing, Apartment three, which was hanging precariously on the edge of the cavern, went crashing into the hole unceremoniously.

    While some officials and security personnel were clearly shaken and surprised by the collapse, Marshall stated [the crash] was not unexpected, and later disclosed that the debris from the building did not affect the areas where the remains of the family were expected to be found.

    We marked out the area where the cadaver dog says there is the presence of human remains. The fall of that weakened section was a vertical fall, and there was no significant amount of debris on that area.

    A backhoe was used to clear a path and create the ramp at the back of the apartments. The demolition took place in less than one hour.

    The operator of the monstrous machine spared some effort to save a loan chair, which rested eerily on the back balcony of one of the apartments. There was a collective sigh of disappointment when he was unable to save this seemingly sentimental piece of furniture.

    At the end of the demolition, only a pile of concrete and twisted metal remained.

    What followed were several hours of work; including the careful destruction of the apartment building and the assembling of the ramp.

    However, work was stopped due to fatigue of the workers at 3:00 a.m. with work scheduled to restart later this evening. (KG/JH)

  29. a cousin of don

    dont forget they think when they are higlighted by the media it makes them look good but they’re just making themselves look ridiculous and stupid and they are embarrasement to the people and country of Barbados and they are only causing more hate and anger towards and within the people

  30. a cousin of don

    i mean you could tell when poeple feel hurt/agony but such incidents, we had the tragedy @ Joes River and i heard Mia Mottley was on site, and she was questioned about the situation and just from hearing her speak , you could tell that she felt remorse, to me they were only 2 individual i saw that felt sorry that was Richard Sealy and David Thompson.

  31. samizdat

    Owen Arthur I thought looked genuinely upset, and from a crude thug like Noel Lynch one expects nothing better. But I too have been absolutely aghast at the Attorney General’s demeanor since the disaster. His tone of voice, his clothing, that terrible baseball cap, the expression on his face – everything just so wrong, so wholly inappropriate given the extreme gravity of the situation.

    I used to have a lot of respect for Marshall as a man, if not as a politician. After this, it’s vanished. He has failed dismally and very publically, at a moment of crisis when it mattered most for him not to.

    If I were a family member of any of the poor victims I would never forget Marshall and Lynch’s apparently indifferent, casual, don’t-carish attitude at this time.

    And I bet there are many of us in Barbados who won’t ever forget it either.

  32. liiiiiiiiii

    to cousin of dawn. my little boy is the one who,s name is zavier and he is in wednesday paper. i will try my best to raise him well. but my heart is grieving so much right now

  33. liiiiiiiiii

    to wishing in vain i want to thank you very much for your condolences. i,m still wishing for a miracle

  34. Getting BYE

    i wish people would stop buying the nation. I do not but it really makes me mad that they published what I read above.

    May this young family rest in peace and everyone be more sensitive about the matter at hand.

  35. DFX

    Didn’t hear the radio report but I just read over at BU that 1 body has been recovered, and they expect to recover a second soon. This is indeed very sad. To the family members I can only ask you to remember that they are now in a much better place. May God bless you and keep you in this terrible time of loss.

  36. Yardbroom

    I am mindful of the events which will unfold shortly.

    I am not an apologist for Government Ministers – but seek only to be fair – in this issue it appears that Government Ministers, politicians and some Officials do not know how to conduct themselves eg dress, speech and body language to suit the requirements of this tragedy.

    There have been two ocassions I am aware of, where Officials have “laughed” as an immediate reaction to searching questions posed by the media. I take this not as a lack of respect, but an inability to deal with a question posed by the media in an incident of this kind.

    There is a certain decorum of dress, speech and body language expected of Officials when in proximity to a tragedy, or being questioned about it. Officials should be aware of that, not only for this but for the future – as there will be other incidents of this kind.

    Government Ministers should be mindful of the public’s sensitivity and conduct themselves accordingly, they speak not only for themselves and the Government, but the Nation and should be able to convey the Nation’s sense of loss.

  37. Rumplestilskin

    Yardbroom, well said and correct assessment, as usual.

    I have to queries. It appears that info quoted in the media refers to some assessment being done in the area just two weeks before the collapse.

    Therefore, someone saw cracks or had some idea that something was seriously wrong. Why were the authorities not informed and if they were, what was being done to understand the situation before this happened.

    I think the family and public have a right to know these answers.

    Secondly, I repeat my earlier questions as to when will we hear of a decision to move the two primary schools?

    Moving these schools is imperative, irrespective of any assessment, the risk is too high.

  38. NotNiceNews

    Two bodies have been recovered.
    The mother and one of the children

  39. BADhabit!

    Stopping buying of Nation newspapers
    is a very hard (British!) habit to break
    – at least as difficult as stopping smoking Tobacco!

    They print krap – we love it – we buy it – the blp uses it – everyone’s happy.
    See how it goes?


  40. Wishing in Vain

    When Lynch can find time to snikker when asked to respond to a question about the famililies of these people that lost their lives, it is a very very sad reflection of his care and feelings towards this incident.

  41. Wishing in Vain

    I am happy to hear that they are finally getting to a stage where the bodies are being removed sadly that is my best hope would have been for them to be removed alive and well, but sadly this was not meant to be, it must be a terrible time for those that are left behind my sympathy is extended to all.

    This incident leaves many question that need attention, how did TCP permit an erection on this site ?

    How was it a survey was carried out on the residents not advise to evacuate the area ? Why was this used as publicity weapon and for media exposure to the extent that it was with Lynch, Owing, Marshall (the worst of the lot) Prescod pickling the press with their images ?

    Why would Noel Lynch choose to laugh when asked about the state of the family?

    I think that this was a callous display of bad manners and in extremely poor taste, he ought to be censored for this stupid insensitive display of bad manners.

    Why has it taken from Sunday to Thursday to retrieve these bodies, I even heard the AG state that work was going to be halted if the rain came down again this morning and his equipment fatigue statement is in a league by itself.

  42. dick

    Really PPL!! who goin b accountable for this incident? Construction work i.e excavation on the roof of a cave 5 ft in rock…heavy compactors?? who going drive a fully loaded bus on their roof top & dont expect it to be compromised? Innocent ppl dead…mayb thought they were having a bad dream. someone should be behind bars for this.A 3 month old child now has to be surrported by whom??Engineers knew that the cave was stressed a month ago. i can smell the Bu.. sh.. a mile away..we have to do something about this ppl…This serious

  43. ears

    as a child my friends and i explore those caves for there are more with a lot of off shoots. what i want to know really is why are we seeing the endless patrols of awful politicians, if we who grew up in the bayland and brittons hill know about the caves that travels for miles, how comes the big up in town and country planning don’t know.
    By the way barbados is just a vast net work of caves, with some areas being an abyss what will the people in authority do is the million dollar question

  44. ears

    by the way wishing in vain i agree with you the worst of the lot have been paraded in front of us. barney is arrogant as hell and marshall is full of s@#t. prescod thinks that he is the poor man’s champion. what a sorry lot i am just sick and tired of the bull.