Guyana’s 50th Republic Anniversary observance was marred by the injury of several soldiers on Saturday when pyrotechnic devices exploded while they were being offloaded at the Coast Guard headquarters of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), a source confirmed.
At least one of the soldiers was hospitalised in critical condition, a source confirmed.
Ahead of an official GDF statement, sources said at least four soldiers were injured.
The pyrotechnic devices were moments earlier transported by truck from an artillery depot at Timehri and were being offloaded onto a pontoon when the tragedy struck. The pontoon was then expected to sail midstream of the Demerara River for Saturday night’s fireworks display in honour of Guyana’s Republic golden jubilee.
Saturday’s incident brings back memories of an explosion at GDF’s Camp Groomes on December 18, 2000, that left three soldiers dead and others badly injured.