Work continuing to clear site of Stabroek wharf collapse

Work continuing to clear site of Stabroek wharf collapse

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Sonia Parag has indicated that significant progress is being made in removing the rubble from the site, where a section of the dilapidated Stabroek Market wharf collapsed on Wednesday.

Upon her return to the scene of the collapsed wharf on Thursday, Minister Parag told reporters that teams of workers from the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Public Works and the Georgetown Mayor and City Council worked late into the night to remove debris from the site, with work recommencing as early as 4am this morning. 

The Local Government Minister said even as the work continues, she is pleased that there has been no additional report of persons being injured or trapped under the rubble.  

“I can see that we had a lot of progress in removing the rubble and we have gone a far way, and as disclosed yesterday, we were told and we saw five persons being injured but we were not certain whether there were other persons beneath the rubble or if anyone was trapped beneath there but as the rubble is being moved out, we haven’t seen any sign of that, so that is good, that is fortunate. So, we are happy about that, and we are also happy about the progress because we have more manpower now,” Minister Parag said. 

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, who was also at the site today, explained that 35 labourers were manually removing debris from the site as late as 10 o’ clock last night, until the arrival of the barge. 

He said there was additional man power today, as the work continued using both manpower and an excavator and a barge. It was explained that the rubble that is closer to the Demerara River are being placed onto the barge with the use of an excavator, while materials closer to the market are being removed manually, and transported in trucks to the disposal site. 

He said later this evening, the section of the delipidated wharf, which is still standing, will be pulled down.  

“When the market is closed and people gone, and the boat stop operating, we will have to pull down that shed and start removing that, because that is an accident waiting to happen too,” Minister Indar said. 

However, while Ministers Indar and Parag expressed satisfaction with the work done so far, Minister of Public Security, Robeson Benn said the pace is unsatisfactory. 

“Well, the pace of work is unsatisfactory. There is a barge there with an excavator which is being kept at high rates, and I am not satisfied that it is being probably loaded. The excavator is not properly tooled to offload the material, that is going slow and secondly, people are taking away things from the site to other places, which is a matter we have to bring control to,” Minister Benn said. 

He expressed dissatisfaction that many of the workers at the site were not properly clad in their safety gears. 

“They have to be properly attired in safety wear – gloves, helmets and proper footwear and they have to be properly managed to take the material to the places where it is properly required to dispose of,” he said. 

Minister Benn said he has made his safety concerns known to the City’s Engineering Department.  

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