Update:The Rescue Effort At Brittons Hill In Barbados Continues…NOW Changed To Recovery

Day 6


Finally, the last body has been retrieved from the rubble at Arch Cot, Britton’s Hill. The announcement was made a few minutes ago by  Minister Dale Marshall.  The country can now bring closure to the matter to what has been one of multiple tragedies in a  month of August sadness. The Minister further advised that counseling services are being provided to the parties in need.


Work was stopped last night at 9PM when the cave became too dangerous. Looks like the VOB report of all bodies found was premature, there is fourth body which has been sighted that means there is one more body to be located. Excavation is expected to recommence at 7AM this morning. (see Nation Report)

 Day 5


Voice of Barbados (VOB) is reporting that all the bodies may have been recovered. The nation is waiting on what is expected to be the final press briefing from Minister Marshall.


According to the latest report a third unidentified body has been extracted from the rubble and a fourth body has been sighted. In the latest press briefing Minister Joe Atherley confirmed that Cabinet this evening gave the green light for a comprehensive risk assessment geo-technical study to be carried out in the immediate area and beyond. Minister Barney Lynch announced that an emergency fund has been established at Barbados National Bank and a number of Trustees named to manage the fund. No decision has been made regarding the reopening of the two schools (St.Cyprians and St.Pauls) in the area. Looks like after the Cabinet this evening Minister Marshall’s branding of the area Ground Zero was vetoed and replaced with Hot Spot!

Work continues under the threat of bad weather which has been forecasted.


The recovery effort has been hampered by rain and equipment breakdown, the cave has also become increasingly unstable. The recovery effort has recommenced in the late evening and BU remain hopeful that the remaining three bodies will be found soon.


Voice Of Barbados (VOB) have reported that two bodies have been found, a male child and an adult female (subject to confirmation from the forensics team). Minister Dale Marshall in his report to the Press on location has also advised that recovery efforts have had to be stalled because of unstable conditions in the cave. At the early hour of this report there is ongoing discussion on how the Recovery Team should proceed given the current conditions; reports also indicate that the Rescue Team has had to dig almost 65 feet to recover the bodies in what has been described by the Miami Search and Rescue Unit two days ago as a very unstable environment in which to work. Again, BU extend our sympathy to the family and friends of the Codrington family, and also wish to remember all those families who have had to be displaced because of this tragic circumstance at Arch Cot, Brittons Hill, St. Michael.

An emotional account of a visit to “ground zero” by Barbadian Blogger Cheeze-on-bread gives a chilling insight to proceedings at the not too long ago sub-urban village:

The sad story of Arch Cot

Well, we’ve moved into day four of the Arch Cot, Brittons Hill tragedy. After praying that the Codrington family would be found alive, I’m now hoping that the bodies of the five members of the Codrington family will be recovered so that their family can have closure to this tragic event.

After spending several hours at Brittons Hill yesterday, I just wanted to make some observations and ask some questions:

[Read More]

Source: Cheese-on-bread

BU will continue to provide updates to the thousands of concerned persons who are logging-on to Bajan blogs and other sites from around the world.

Day Four


Workers waiting on one section of the ramp way as the apartment complex was demolished

Source Adovocate

The significant part of Day 4 was spent stabilizing and preparing the cave for the extraction of the bodies of the Codrington family presumed to be dead. Two large boulders which were a threat to the safety of rescuers were finally removed. Minister Dale Marshall in a late evening press conference advised that “the rescuers were entering what is the most challenging psychological part of this recovery effort. We have given them ideas of what they can expect and we hope that our efforts are successful”. The Rescue Team is currently removing rubble from the cavern.


Also see video of the destruction of the building which the Codrington apartment was attached located on a cave.

All Barbadians begin to prepare to enter the next phase of mourning which the extraction of the bodies will no doubt trigger.It is a mental state which they are becoming use to in the month of August 2007.

Day Three


Picture submitted by a reliable friend. The picture was taken by Steve Sandy, it shows construction or excavation works going on in the area immediately behind(?) the collapse. From what little I’ve heard and know, the construction or excavation was in progress before the collapse Source Pull! Push!


It is Day Three and the recovery effort to find the bodies of the Codrington family (Donavere 30, Cassandra 27, Shaquanda 7, Shaquille 3, Yashiro 1) will move forward in earnest. The partially collapsed apartment building was deliberately knocked down yesterday evening (Monday) to remove the threat to the rescue team. Barbadians are this morning full in the realization that the family is dead. The cadaver dog utilized by the Miami Dade Search and Rescue Unit sniffed two areas in the cavity where dead bodies are possibly located. Minister Dale Marshall in a press conference late on Day 2, he confirmed that two large boulders are currently slowing down the rescue effort and plans are afoot to deal with the problem.

Here is a link which shows some pictures of the rescue effort taken from Local10.com website.


Day Two


A rescue team from the Miami Dade county coordinate their help in the search for a family of five that is missing after their apartment complex collapsed in the St. Michael parish near Bridgetown, Barbados, in the early hours of Monday, Aug. 27, 2007. The apartment complex began collapsing early Sunday and one unit fell about 50 feet into a cave, Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall said.

Minister Dale Marshall and Prime Minister Owen Arthur confirmed what the nation did not want to hear at a Press Conference this evening. The sophisticated equipment used by the Miami Dade Search and Rescue Unit which flew in last night confirmed that they have detected no signs of life in the cavity. What BU suspect was a very hard decision was made to switch from rescue to recovery mode. As we write this update the recovery effort has been hindered because of the instability of the wall of the cavern in the area. Steps are being taken to accelerate the collapse of the unstable area.


Our country mourns for the Codrington family.

Day One

It has been just over 10 hours since the report of a building which collapsed into a cave in Brittons Hill, St. Michael. It seems from all reports coming from the PR officer of the Barbados Police Force that it will be a long rescue complicated by a roof blocking the effort. Barbados Free Press and Pull! Push! have been facilitating comments from the public who are expressing their concern for those missing and to the concerned family and friends.

BU take this opportunity to express our hope that all the occupants are rescued safely. Our heart especially goes out to the children thought to be covered deep under the ground.

The current situation has driven someone who is described as Erica Hall B.Sc. Civil Engineer, to submit the following document extracted from the FEMA website which details how the area where buildings with suspected structural defects are located should be efficiently managed. They have asked that the information should be sent to the rescue personnel involved at the Brittons Hill site if at all possible. This accident is similar to the 6 coal miners currently trapped in Utah as we write.


Our thanks to Bajan Reporter for forwarding the information.

202 thoughts on “Update:The Rescue Effort At Brittons Hill In Barbados Continues…NOW Changed To Recovery

  1. how far does this cave run does it go past the white house what is going to happen to all the people who live on that particular road not to mention the other crossroads where are all of thoose hundreds of people supposed to go i am a girl , twelve years and i want answers please right now i am not scared but i want to know what is supposed to happen to those people who have been told to move/evacuate i am pleading for answers

Leave a comment, join the discussion.