The Duhaney River in St Andrew claimed the lives of three young boys Saturday in a tragedy that left the communities of Tower Hill and Riverton City numb.
The boys were among a group of five from Tower Hill, Olympic Gardens, who had gone to the river close to the Riverton City dump to swim shortly after 2:00 pm.
Three of the boys experienced difficulties and drowned, while the other two made it back to shore safely.
Two of the dead boys were immediately identified as 13-year-old Demone Barrett and Shaquille Henry, who would have celebrated his 14th birthday Sunday. Up to press time, the third boy had been identified only as ‘Errol’.
“Oh my God!” exclaimed Joan Gordon-Webley, head of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), as the second of the three bodies was recovered from the river.
An obviously shaken Gordon-Webley was at a loss for words as she struggled to come to terms with the tragedy.
She said the NSWMA security team had chased the boys away but they returned, sparking an alarm when the two boys shouted that their friends were in trouble. Residents of the area immediately dived into the river in an unsuccessful effort to rescue the boys.
“Despite the police divers not responding, the young men really made me feel very proud as they just jumped into the river and recovered all three bodies,” said Gordon-Webley as she noted that the police divers had not arrived when residents of Riverton City recovered the bodies.