A 17-year-old sugar worker attached to the rodent control gang at the Wales sugar estate on the West Bank Demerara died early on Friday morning after being struck by lightning while in the sugar fields carrying out a rat baiting exercise.
According to reports, the young man who has been identified as Kleim Roberts was part of a group of three other workers and a foreman who were all out in the cane fields when a heavy thunderstorm forced some of them out.
The young man did not meet up with the rest of his crew and when they returned to the cane field, his lifeless body was found sprawled on the ground with burns to his head, his protective cap and clothes and the rest of his body.
He was rushed to the West Demerara Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. Industrial Relations Director at Guysuco, Jairam Pitam said the company was deeply saddened by the lost of life, noting that the young sugar worker was just 18 years old.
Meanwhile, Pitam explained that at the Blairmont sugar estate in Berbice, six other sugar workers were struck by lightning while out in the cane fields during a heavy down pour. He said they all survived.
Five of the workers were treated at the hospital and sent home while the other worker was transferred to the Georgetown Hospital for additional observation and treatment because of the seriousness of his injuries suffered as a result of the lightning strike.
Over the past week, the Demerara and Berbice areas have been experiencing a number of thunderstorms in the early morning time.
The US National Hurricane Centre on Friday reported that a tropical storm had formed just beyond the Guyana coast in the Atlantic Ocean and that may be the reason for the persistent rainfall and thunderstorms that have been drenching a number of areas across the country’s coast.