The death toll from the March 21, 2017 Cul de Sac quarry explosion has officially risen to four.
Jude Skelly, one of the four critically-injured patients flown to Martinique after the explosion, passed away at a hospital in that country this morning (April 16) at 4:15, relatives have told St. Lucia News Online (SNO).
Jude, a resident of Dennery, was about 42, his older brother Brian Skelly, based in New York, told SNO this afternoon.
Brian said Jude was an employee of the Rayneau Gajadhar-owned quarry, operated by the RG Group of Companies – Construction & Industrial Equipment (CIE) Ltd and RG. Quarry (RGQ).
Brian said his brother sustained a “blow to the head” and was in a coma for several weeks.
He went on to say that Jude came out of the coma last week and he “talked and laughed with my younger brother (Augustus Skelly)”.
Brian said Augustus returned to St. Lucia on Thursday, believing his brother had passed the worst. However, the family got bad news on Friday that Jude’s breathing was “not good”.
According to the brothers, Jude suffered a cardiac arrest/heart failure this morning and never recovered.
They believe his death is caused by the injuries sustained in the explosion.
In a voice note, Augustus Skelly said: “Good morning everybody, good morning. Just got some sad information, just got 30 minutes ago. The doctor from Martinique called me and told me that Jude passed at 4:15 this morning. They tried their very best. His heart stopped beating. And they tried their very best to resusicate him but nothing didn’t work, so he passed on this mornig at 4:15. I am very sorry to break the news to everybody on the chat. Oh let us pray but God is good, God is good.”
Jude was a married father of two children.
Over 30 people sustained injuries as a result of the explosion which is currently under investigation by the authorities.
The three other persons who died as a result of the explosion are Darren Gabriel and Kim Khodra who died at the scene, and supervisor Simon Straughn who succumbed at Victoria Hospital.