EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: A Lebanese owner of La Parisienne Restaurant is reportedly on the run after two Gambian youth he assigned to drain the suck-away at the restaurant died in the process.
A 23-year-old Sainey Kanteh from Wuli Ja Kunda in the Upper River Region and Lamin Manneh from a village in Niamina got drowned in the underground septic tank at the restaurant in Pipeline, along the busy Kairaba Avenue on Friday.
According to eyewitness account, the two boys were assigned by the management of La Parisienne restaurant to manually drain the sewage. One of them narrated that, there was total confusing but that did not disrupt the services of the food and hospitality centre.
In the absence of the senior management, a few junior staff who spoke to Eyeafrica on condition of anonymity said, the owner of La Parisienne Restaurant by the name Ali left the Gambia on the very day of the incident.
“My boss said he has a mission out of the country and this coincided with this incident,” a staff told Eyeafrica.
The Manager on the ground is said to be in a state of disorder and was not available for comment on Monday.
Business continued at the restaurant despite the incident but management of La Parisienne mourned the disaster by stopping the regular musical tunes. “We stopped playing music at the restaurant for three days. We started it today for our customers”, says one of the staff.
Bakary Kanteh, father to late Sainey said his son was the first to get inside the pit through a narrow manhole after which the second victim join in efforts to rescue the other, a process in which they all died.
“My son went in first but after he was no longer responding, his partner decided to went in to rescue him. They died that way” he said.
A staff at Sharab Medical Centre in Kanifing confirmed that one of the victims was rush in there by officials of the Fire and rescue services.
The Commissioner of Oath in the Kanifing Municipality approved explanations by the Kanifing General Hospital on the nature of the deaths of the two young men. However, no test was conducted on the young men to establish the cause of their deaths.
The police have taken picture of the ‘suck-away’ but there was no tool dipped into it to investigate additional causes of the deaths. We as a family, decided to collect the copse of our son for burial thereafter”, says Mr Kanteh.
The Gambia Police as well as the Fire Service are yet to make comment on the matter despite numerous efforts to get them speak.
The public relation office at the fire service commented that a report is being compiled but that was not enough to feed the media.