..President attends viewing, sympathises with relatives
PRESIDENT DAVID GRANGER, on Thursday, attended the viewing of the body of the late Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Corporal, 21331 Seon Rose, who died following an incident on February 22 when there was a spontaneous combustion aback the Force’s Coast Guard location at Ruimveldt.
Corporal Rose, along with several other ranks of the 21 Artillery Company, was preparing for Guyana’s 50th Republic Anniversary fireworks display when the incident occurred. Corporal Rose was badly burnt and died the following day at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where he was receiving treatment.
Rose, 31, had sustained third degree burns to 90 per cent of his body and was listed as critical when he was admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
Reports are that he suffered a heart attack while being treated for his injuries. The pyrotechnics were aboard a truck when it exploded and, apart from Rose, the injured ranks were identified as Terrence Neils, Gordon Cornette, Isiah Gordon, Trevon Joseph, Victor Low, Atto Cort and Delroy Baird.
The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) was quick to the scene and has teamed up with the GDF to assist with a Board of Inquiry (BoI) ordered to determine the cause of the explosion. The investigation is of interest to the officials, as well as President David Granger who told the media, on the day in question that the incident was “unexpected” as the soldiers were experts trained in the handling of fireworks.
Visiting the injured men at the GPHC, he stated that the soldiers even did the fireworks during Barbados’ 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations, in 2016 while Army Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, said that the soldiers had rehearsed on Friday evening and there were no challenges.
Rose leaves behind his wife, Tamica Hiles-Rose whom he married in 2017. When news of Rose’s death reached his family, they were distraught. Many relatives and friends took to social media to share photographs of their memories with the deceased. “SIP (Sleep in Peace) baby brother, I will miss you so much. You didn’t even get to see how big Kiara now that she big. Seon it’s hurting too bad,” said Natoya Narine who also noted that she had recently spoken with the young man.
Meanwhile, Abigail Thornhill wrote: “Every time Guyana stood and watch those fireworks was because you were behind the scene. Every time they stood amazed and the little children rejoice in glee, you were behind the scenes. You made an entire nation happy with your skills and intelligence. Most of all you made us happy. We love you brother. You made us proud. Rest easy my love. We grieve from a place of understanding. We know living with 90 per cent body burns is not what you wanted and God wanted for you. Go home brother.”
“One of the most polite and disciplined soldier ever. Was hoping for better news yet you departed,” his friend Delon Peters said. Hundreds of other Guyanese poured out their support to Rose’s family thanking him for his service and making known their prayers for the other injured soldiers.
In a message of condolence, President Granger had said that he was saddened at the death of Rose.
He expressed heartfelt sympathy to Rose’s wife and other relatives and friends and the entire GDF fraternity. The President also expressed his appreciation to the staff of the GPHC for their tireless efforts to save Corporal Rose’s life and for their continued treatment of the other injured ranks.
Corporal Rose enlisted in the GDF on September 7, 2008 and joined the 21 Artillery Company on November 14, 2008.