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Saturday, November 12, 2011


The Morne Sion Tragedy continues to unfold; one more infant was fished out of the water on Friday afternoon and this has now brought the number of passengers travelling on the bus into the realm of speculation. It was first mooted to be 14 – which is the maximum allowable passenger load for a 14-seater. The confirmed death toll on Friday morning was 16. With the discovery of the body of a young infant on Friday afternoon, the police have revised it upward to 17.

Speculation is rife that it may reach 19 and this may not be farfetched, considering reports that there were as many as 4 infants on board.

The reasons for the accident have also entered the realm of heavy speculation. Two alleged witnesses at the top of the hill, about 400 yards away reported they saw the bus veering along the verge in the direction of the Aldine’s House. But they reported that when they got to the scene, they saw no sign of bus - neither did they hear or see any visible traces of an accident.

The occupants of the Aldine’s House said they heard a mysterious sound whizzed past the house but did not hear or see any bus fall below.

So how did anyone know that the bus careened over the cliff? A few guys who who claimed to see what happened, said they rushed down to the scene. Upon arrival, they said they saw the impressions of a vehicle travelling over the curb, beyond the verge and over the cliff. So they went down below to confirm.

Indeed, upon arrival they said they were shocked at what they saw: a capsized "wreckage" of minibus and three dead bodies sprawled on the beach. The news spread like wildfire and was soon all over the village and beyond in quick time – thanks to the "BB revolution".

Lorne got the news just before 8 pm on. As a cadet and first responder, he immediately cancelled his meeting at Morne Sion and he and his team rushed to the accident scene.

Upon arrival, he met the Choiseul Police, a handful of persons (about a dozen) but no emergency services.

Indeed, three dead bodies were seen sprawled on the beach. One of them was showing signs of life; but s/he was in an apparently critical condition; although there was pulse, s/he was barely breathing. There was a call to put the infant on a vehicle and drive him/her to the hospital. In the absence of a stretcher and the difficult terrain, a first responder advised that we have to proceed with caution. However, the emergency services arrived a few minutes later and took the child away on a stretcher, who died on his/her way to the hospital.

We thought we had seen the worse; but the worst was yet to come when we turned over the bus.

Today, there are plenty of speculations on the reasons/causes of the tragedy; some are scientific but most are “metaphysical” or pseudo-scientific. We will examine those speculations in a later article.

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