run past the pile of rubbish from which an explosive device
went off on George Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Photo:
Unique Book Store and Sports Centre, Independence Square,
Port-of-Spain, was bustling with activity yesterday, as back-to-school
shoppers with children and booklists in hand were making their
way in and out of the store.
They were purchasing books and comparing prices hurriedly
in an attempt to beat the rain which was threatening.
But at around 11.15 am, the rains came, followed by the usual
thunder and lightning.
This reporter, who was conducting an interview at the store,
was about to wrap up the session when a loud noise was heard
at around 11.40 am.
was that? You heard that? I said to photographer Shirley
was thunder! she said.
that sound like a transformer just blow! a customer
The noise sounded similar to that made by the explosion which
occurred almost a month ago to the day on the corner of Queen
and Frederick Streets.
On July 11, an explosive device was detonated in a garbage
bin near to Maraj Gold Jewellers which left at least 13 people
One woman, Yvonne McIvor, who was seriously injured in the
explosion, was only discharged from the Seventh-day Adventist
Hospital, Cocorite, on Tuesday, after having her left leg
As word spread that the noise was heard coming from George
Street, there were different reactions from a huge crowd which
had already gathered.
One soldier was already on the scene, taking information from
Eyewitnesses at Mohammeds Barber Salon, opposite the
site of the explosion, recalled the moments before the device
Desmond Callender was the first to hear and see the commotion.
He was waiting to get a haircut.
Pointing to the pile of rubbish where the explosion took place,
he said, All of a sudden I hear this loud noise, and
see the rubbish over there go up in the air and come back
down scattering all over the road.
Callender said he was so scared when the device detonated,
he ran inside, followed by others who were standing on the
side of the road.
never see man run so, he said.
was a bomb-like sound. The others thought it was thunder and
some was saying it was a transformer, but it have none. Look
up and see.
He said although the area was not usually busy around that
time of day, there were people who would be going to the salons
in the area.
There are five unisex salons on lower George Street.
No one remembered seeing anyone running from the scene or
throwing anything into the rubbish.
ent see nothing and I here since about 9 am waiting on a small
trim and mark, one man said.
Another man said he was with three of his friends when he
heard the noise and saw the rubbish spew into the air.
He ran inside Mohammeds salon leaving the others standing
place getting real dread. You cant even walk the road
and be safe no more. Is either you walk in the middle of the
road or in the sky.
Jerod Smith, who works at Klass is Klass, a barber shop, shoe-making
and repair business, said he was waiting to attend to a customer
when he heard the noise and felt the building shake.
He said he took his pet bird to the salon to show off, but
was later told to pack up and leave by police officers.
tell a girl to come and see my bird today, boy, he stressed.
Only the day before, one of the barbers from Klass is Klass
had been shot nearby.
George Street blight, Smith said.
By this time, uniformed and plainclothes police officers arrived
and cordoned off the area.
One senior plainclothes officer was heard telling a woman,
Another one is expected to go off. Please leave here
Bits of metal pipe, paper cups, bottles and bags were among
the debris strewn across the roadway after the explosion.
There were no reported injuries.
One woman said she was at the nearby Cathedral of Immaculate
Conception when she heard the noise and thought it was thunder.
noise really shake the church.
really frightening now. We have to pray seriously, she
said, shaking her head.
Personnel from the K-9 Unit, along with four sniffer dogs,
arrived at around 12.40 pm.
They were followed by bomb experts who combed through what
was left of the debris.
A helicopter was also seen circling above.
One woman shouted, That better dont land and blow
away the evidence like the last time.
Her statement drew barrels of laugher from on-lookers.