Head of the RG Group of Companies, Rayneau Gajadhar, has confirmed that his brother was among the persons who died as a result of the explosion at the quarry in Cul de Sac on Tuesday.
His brother, Simon Straughn, who is originally from Ravine Chabot, Castries was the operations manager of RG Quarry Ltd., a subsidiary company of the RG Group, and was trained in handling explosives.
Straughn, who would have been 39 in May, is survived by his wife and two children.
“I want to let everybody know that I am heart-broken,” Gajaghar said in a radio interview today. “It is terrible and we have lost some of our best people.”
The veteran businessman said it is difficult to find words to explain how he feels.
He said everyone is curious about what caused the explosion, but the focus is on the dead and injured, and their families. An investigation is underway, he said.
The businessman said the promotion of safety in his business has always been a priority.
“In terms of a statement as to what happened I cannot make a statement now as I do not have the facts…. We are all are foused on the people…,” he said.
Gajadhar said some of the injured have been flown to Martinique for further treatment.
Government officials said three workers have been confirmed dead, two of whom died at the scene and one succumbed at Victoria Hospital. One individual remains unaccounted for.
About 21 persons were brought to hospital for treatment up to midnight. Four “highly critical” patients were airlifted for treatment in Martinique.
Meanwhile, Gajadhar’s company released the following official statement on the incident.
We at the RG group of companies are overwhelmed by the loss of our family and team members.
The loss of life suffered is immeasurable. We stand in support of all of the grieving families and staff who work directly with those who lost their lives.
The incident resulted in fatalities and in injuries necessitating immediate emergency response services whereby all injured persons were quickly dispatched to the hospital for medical treatment
At this stage we give our unwavering support and cooperation to the investigators as they assist and support us in finding out the cause of this unfortunate accident.
Our main interest at the moment is attending to and working with the families of the deceased and injured and further mourning with the nation for the loss of valued souls.
Our thanks and appreciation go out to the Government of Saint Lucia in particular Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet and Hon. Guy Joseph who were present at on site and at the hospital. We further extent special thanks to NEMO, Saint Lucia red cross, Saint Lucia fire service, the nurses and doctors of Victoria Hospital and Tapion hospital, all levels of the police hierarchy and RG Group team members for their swift response and attention.
Investigations are ongoing in this matter.
ABOUT GAJADHAR’S COMPANY
The RG Group of Companies comprises of the Construction & Industrial Equipment (CIE) Ltd and RG. Quarry (RGQ). Through these two entities, the group is able to provide the necessary products and services to meet the building and construction needs of clients in Saint Lucia and the region. Its rapid and continued growth over the past 15 years has made this company well positioned to meet the industry’s demands. Recognized as the largest locally-owned construction company in Saint Lucia with over 300 employees and close to 100 pieces of heavy equipment and a seemingly endless supply of quality raw material, the group is well positioned as a leader in its field. With a high percentage of repeat clients and great emphasis on customer service, the RG Group is geared towards achieving its goals in providing overall service beyond expectations. (Source: company’s website)