Mourners, workers clash over hole at Meadowrest
A melee between mourners and several workmen at Meadowrest Memorial Gardens in St Catherine over the size of a hole has left several persons reportedly nursing gunshot and stab wounds, according to the police's Corporate Communications Unit.
The number of injured persons was not confirmed up to press time. The brawl, which took place sometime after 2:30 p.m., required the intervention of the police. Reports are that the disgruntled mourners complained about the size of the hole in which the workmen were lowering their loved one. A heated verbal exchange ensued before a mourner allegedly punched one of the workmen. Further allegations are that loud explosions were heard after the gates were locked by two security guards. An alleged eyewitnesses, who was attending a separate burial, recalled the fracas which lasted for several minutes and had several vendors scampering for cover to escape stones and other missiles.
"A more than one set a people a complain 'bout the hole weh dem a dig fi put di casket dem inna. So is like di workmen dem just a do dem thing same way and nah listen di arguments. A man go threaten one a di burial man dem, so him and him co-worker put down dem shovel and other tools say dem nah do nothing," the person said. "Same time an argument start and a man thump di bredda inna him nose. Likkle after that, is like dem lock di gate dem and a baay shot start fire. Everybody start scatter same time; who no get chop wid machete, get shot."
The police said a team cleared the roadblock to the cemetery and forcibly opened the gates to allow burials to continue.
"We responded to the report that the road was blocked, explosions and the injuries of a staff there," said Deputy Superintendent Linroy Edwards, the crime officer for the St Catherine North Police Division. "We are checking each vehicle and occupants that enter or leave the space as we cannot take any chance."
THE STAR was unable to get a comment from a representative at Meadowrest as several calls to an official in the communications department went unanswered.