Twenty-three persons were injured, at least three seriously, when two minibuses collided on Monday at Prospect Main Road, St James leaving the busy Highway 1 closed for several hours.
The mass casualty led to commuters having to be taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) for medical attention while others were transported to a polyclinic for treatment.
Head of the Emergency Ambulance Service, Dr David Byer, led a team of emergency personnel who assessed the injured persons at the scene, under a tent erected by members of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF).
Police Public Relations Officer Inspector Rodney Inniss told members of the media who gathered at the scene that around 6:25 a.m. officers at the Holetown Police Station were informed about the accident involving the two Public Service Vehicles.
“There were 23 persons in total who reported injuries, nine of whom were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance. Of the nine taken there, one was the driver of one of the minibuses who was reported the most serious of the injuries, he has leg injuries.
“There are two other persons reported to have serious injuries as well. Ten other persons were taken to the Branford Taitt Polyclinic. They were pooled together and sent via a Transport Board Bus to seek medical attention there. Four other persons left the scene indicating that they would see their own private medical attention,” Inniss said.
The police spokesman added that 15 police officers, two fire tenders and nine officers from the Barbados Fire Service, 30 personnel from the BDF, four members of the Roving Response team, five ambulances from the QEH and two from the BDF responded to the scene.
“Our triage was stood up around 8:20 a.m. and it was stood down around 10 this morning on the advice of Dr Byer and the police personnel. Everyone agreed, everyone was debriefed as to what caused the incident, how many persons were injured and how they would be attended to.”
Inniss said that authorities were grateful that the injuries were no worse.
Recorded footage of the accident has been circulating on social media.
Several persons living in the area told Barbados TODAY that while persons who reflected on the mass casualty have been voicing concerns that the drivers of the PSVs involved may have been driving recklessly at the time the accident happened, that was not the case.
“You could clearly see from that video that the road was wet and none of the drivers was speeding or driving recklessly. People always want to blame the minibus drivers for accidents but if you look at that video carefully you would see how the accident happened. I just hope that the people who got injured are going to be okay, that is the truth,” one resident said.
Another resident who described the accident as unfortunate, indicated that they were concerned that too many accidents have happened on that stretch of the road in recent years.