Standing and watch your lifelong partner draw their last breath is by no means an easy experience, but it was something, 65-year-old Iris Singh was forced to endure as she stood by helplessly watching a swarm of Africanized bees attack her husband of 48 years.
Sometime after 13:00 hours on Thursday, 75-year-old Kawal Singh of Parika Backdam was pronounced dead on arrival at the Leonora Cottage Hospital.
The dead man’s wife told this newspaper that around noon on Thursday her husband was taking his customary midday rest.
She said after she had eaten her lunch, she decided to visit their farm which is located aback of their residence.
Mrs. Singh said while tending to orange trees, she heard her husband calling for her.
“Like he wake up and didn’t see me in de house so he come in de farm calling, and he keep calling me and telling me come way he deh, and I calling he and telling he leh he come way I deh.”
The woman related that shortly after trying to locate each other in the large farm, she heard a worker who was on the farm shouting “Bees! Bees!”
Mrs. Singh related that by the time she made her way to where her husband was she was told, not to go any closer.
“I went like 50 feet away from he and all meh hear he say is don’t come near me, and he lay down pon he face…and if you see like a cloud ah bee cover he”.
Amidst loud wailing, Mrs. Singh recounted how she stood helplessly and witnessed the horrifying sight. “Ow meh just had to stand up and watch he…and he tell meh don’t come, at least he coulda dead in meh hand…meh couldn’t do nothing fuh he…he gone and lef meh alone in dis world.”
She added that after an alarm was raised, dozens of persons ran to her assistance but they too could only stand by and watch for several minutes.
This newspaper was told that Singh was rescued almost half an hour after, when a resident of the area doused himself with gasoline and went to the victim’s aid.
“After de boy throw de gasoline on heself like de heat chase away de bees and he went and pick up Kawal,” one resident related.
However, that was the beginning of another ordeal for the man’s wife and others who were assisting.
It was sometime after that a neighbour decided to render assistance by offering to take Singh out to the hospital. There is little means of getting in and out of the area.
The man’s wife said by the time Singh was brought out of their farm he already appeared lifeless, nevertheless they rushed him to the Leonora Cottage Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Residents of the area said they have been plagued with Africanized bees for some time now in their citrus farms. Only two weeks ago another man was attacked and subsequently hospitalised. And late last year another man was attacked while on his farm.
Saturday, August 28, 2010