Prime Minister reaffirms commitment to assist families affected by Labour Day Tragedy

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Prime Minister Minnis in the House of Assembly, June 6, 2018. (BIS Photo/Yontalay Bowe)

Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to assist the families of the four women who tragically lost their lives during the Randol Fawkes Labour Day Parade on Friday, June 1, 2018. And, he strongly advised the public to refrain from engaging in speculation regarding the incident, which also left 24 wounded in its aftermath. The Prime Minister made a Communication on the Labour Day Tragedy, during the morning session of the House of Assembly on Wednesday, June 6. “We mourn the deaths of Tabitha Charlene Haye, Katherine Agusta Fernander, Tami Patrice Gibson, and Diane Elizabeth Gray-Ferguson,” the Prime Minister said.

“I again offer condolences on behalf of the people and Government of The Bahamas, and on my own behalf, and that of my wife, Patricia, to the families, colleagues, and friends of those who lost their lives last Friday.”

The Saturday after the incident, the Prime Minister led a small team to visit the bereaved families, and the wounded who remained hospitalized in the Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctors Hospital. He was accompanied by the Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands, the Minister of Labour, Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes and the President of the Bahamas Christian Council, Bishop Delton Fernander. “Our prayers and thoughts are with the deceased and all of those who sustained injuries,” the Prime Minister said. “The wounds of the injured are physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual, which will require various forms of healing and support.”

He acknowledged the wonderful stories about the deceased, who, in their own way contributed to the development of the country, including the banking industry. He also reassured the public that the Royal Bahamas Police Force and other relevant authorities are investigating the matter, and will report their findings and what subsequent actions might be taken. But he said this, “I caution the public not to engage in idle speculation and rumors about the tragedy. In investigating and reviewing this matter we must be guided by the rule of law and fairness.” The Prime Minister thanked all those who came to aid of those affected by this tragedy inclusive of the parade participants, first responders, onlookers and the professional team at both hospitals who worked with “great compassion and urgency” in the care for the injured, and handling of the deceased. “We will continue to offer support and care to those in need of assistance. We are committed to doing all that we can to assist the family members of the deceased, and those injured and their families,” the Prime Minister said.

He said as union leaders and workers demonstrated during the march “we are one people, united in love,” and that we remain united in this time of tragedy and suffering.  “May God bring consolation to the bereaved at this time and may He continue to bless our Bahamas.”

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