Todd distraught by City tragedy
Member of Parliament for the City of Bridgetown, Patrick Todd, is in extremely low spirits today.
Todd was on hand for more than three hours at Tudor Street in the heart of his constituency Friday night, where a robbery-gone-wrong claimed the lives of six women.
Two brazen men robbed the boutique Campus Trendz just before 7 p.m last night, then threw an explosive device into the store and started a blaze that wasn’t brought under control by firemen until more than four hours after.
“I am saddened by what has occurred,” Todd, a first-time Parliamentarian, told media personnel on the scene.
The MP for Bridgetown donned a mask and stuck close to officials on the scene, as the fire blazed. He also counselled family members of staff and family still thought to be in the building at the time.
“I am still getting reports from the emergency response team on scene. What I know is that one building is burning as we speak but fire personnel have contained the fire thus far to one block of this stretch buildings which are connected,” Todd added. “I wish to congratulate them and the general emergency team including the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Emergency Ambulance Service and the Department of Emergency Management and other volunteers who have responded quickly to avert an even more widespread disaster.”
He also warned concerned residents and onlookers of the “dark smoke” coming from the building, since they could be affected by smoke inhalation from standing close in order to get a good vantage point.
Hundreds of persons flocked to the area, and were fixated as members of the Barbados Fire Service battled the blaze. Police officers on the scene cordoned off the area, but had to battle family members intent on getting close to the scene.
“I would call upon Barbadians to keep those affected and their relatives and friends in their prayers tonight. There are a number of persons who are on the scene very distraught and in tears because they are seeking the whereabouts of children, relatives and friends who they know would have been in the store,” Todd said.
The MP noted he had contacted permanent secretary in the Ministry of Social Care, Sonja Welch and she would be making contact with senior personnel of the National Assistance Board who are charged with the responsibility for providing counselling services to persons in distress.
That effort was expected to start last night.
“I have also spoken to the Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister (Freundel Stuart) who is closely engaging in the response at this time.
Todd also took the opportunity to encourage Barbadians to practice all possible measures that could reduce the likelihood of crime.
“Just a few weeks ago, I would have been very happy to get the Ministry of Transport and Works to install these three flood lights you see here mounted on the barracks of the Royal Barbados Police Force headquarters. Prior to this we came into office with this whole stretch being very dark and therefore a haven for crime.”