Residents of Belle Vue, Choiseul will not be compensated for their losses by the St. Lucia Electricity Services (LUCELEC) after a two-week investigation found that the damages to the residents’ appliances were not as a result of the company’s negligence.
The residents were hoping to be compensated after their electrical appliances were damaged last month when lightening strike/s caused a power outage in the area.
The affected residents say they were surprised when they received letters from LUCELEC stating they will not be compensated for the damages to their appliances.
A letter signed by Nigel Fulgence, construction engineer of LUCELLEC, and sent to Antonius Henry, an affected customer, stated in part: ”We refer to your complaint dated July 4, 2017, in respect to damages to your CPU. Our investigations revealed that on the day in question there was no evidence of negligence on the part of the company which could have led to damage to your property. However, there was a period of bad weather accompanied by thunderstorms. This could have contributed to the damage to your appliance.”
It adds: “In the circumstances we must regrettably inform you that we are unable to accept responsibility for damage to your CPU.”
However, the letter also stated that if he (Henry) finds any evidence of the contrary, the company will be happy to open the matter.
Commenting on the matter, Corporate Communications Manager of LUCELEC, Roger Joseph, told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the damages to the residents’ appliances were caused by an act of nature, and that there was no evidence to prove that there was negligence on the part of the company.
He said the incident was caused by lightening which shattered the insulator and damaged a street light in the area.
“When there is a thunderstorm or lightening, not just turn off your appliances, also unplug them from their sockets,” he advises customers.
Meanwhile, Henry said he has spent $680 trying to repair his damaged CPU, but it is still not working. He said he bought a number of parts for it, which an IT technician, who is repairing the CPU, had asked him to purchase.
He said he finds it strange LUCELEC refuses to accept responsibility for his losses.
According to Henry, the day after the incident, all of the bulbs in his house got burnt after trying to put them on. He said the situation is frustrating and wants LUCELEC to reopen its investigations into the matter.
Commenting on her frightening experience during the incident, Thadia Henry, another affected resident, said their home almost got burnt down by a fire which ignited in its roof. She said they had to change the wires and the mete after the incident which had them in fear.
“We heard a loud noise….Then the switch blew off and the wires exposed,” she said.
Another resident told SNO that his lawyer is looking into the matter.
Residents in the area say they are convinced that something is dreadfully wrong with the wiring in the area. They say a few weeks after the incident an electrical pole in the area burst into flames.
According to the concerned residents, whenever the weather is a bit bad, they always experience a power outage in the area, but other communities in the vicinity are not affected by it.
A few months ago a man from the area was killed after holding a stay wire.