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GLAREY Bowling lost two children and her mother and is suffering immense pain from third degree burns.

GLAREY Bowling, badly burnt in the Tuesday arson attack which killed two of her children and her bed-ridden mother at their Parika Backdam, East Bank Essequibo home, was yesterday still in the Burns Care Unit of Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

As she lay there in much pain when the Guyana Chronicle visited, the jilted man alleged to have set the house on fire remained in Police custody.

Bowling was being fed by relatives when her grief-stricken husband, Benjamin, arrived at her bedside and burst into tears at the first sight of his wife since the tragedy.

Upon hearing his voice, Bowling also started to cry while telling him in the tearful reunion that she did everything she could to save their children but could not rescue the two who died.

Bowling could not open her eyes and her face is swollen from the heat of the conflagration but she recognises visitors when they speak.


ANIDA Bowling, five months from her second birthday, was burnt to death in yesterday’s fire

Though conscious, she complained: “I am in so much pain…I cannot even cry for my children and mother.”

Bowling said she was relieved that Benjamin visited as relatives tried to comfort her after she revealed that she felt very cold.

She survived the fire after a channa bomb (crude Molotov cocktail) was hurled through a window onto the bed she shared with her dead children, Anida Bowling, one year and seven months old and four-year-old Devika.

Her mother, 66-year-old bed-ridden Victoria Benjamin also perished in the blaze which gutted the small two-storey building in which they all lived.

Survivors said the channa bomb thrown into the small wooden house where the family was asleep, started the blaze.

Glarey Bowling, 42, said she jumped through a louvre window to save herself from the fire.

FOUR-YEAR-OLD Devika Bowling, in this picture taken when she was younger, was also burnt alive.

She related that some unusual sounds from outside the house in the farming community woke her up at about 02:40h.

She said she had been asleep in the upper section of the tiny two storey house – really a ten by sixteen foot hut raised on stilts with the bottom enclosed – which she shared with her mother and seven of her ten children. Her father and two other relatives slept downstairs.

Bowling told the Guyana Chronicle that by the time she had a chance to get up and investigate the noises, what was later revealed to be a channa bomb was hurled onto her bed.

It caught fire immediately, she said, recalling how she grabbed her two youngest children who were on fire since the incendiary device was hurled directly on them. As a result her hands were badly burnt and she could no longer endure the heat and flames that engulfed her.

“I tried desperately to save my children but the fire was too much and it was on them directly and I had to jump through the window to save myself,” she cried Tuesday from her bed in hospital.

Glarey Bowling recalled that after she landed on the ground outside, she was severely injured and could not move from the spot so she cried out for help. She was later taken to the GPHC by an ambulance.

BED-RIDDEN grandmother Victoria Benjamin was also burnt alive in her bed.

Fourteen-year-old survivor Onissa Bowling said she was awakened by her mother ordering them to “throw water, throw water.”

She got up to find her younger brother trying to break open a window, while a fire blazed “all around”. She said by the time they had opened the door and escaped, her two siblings and her grandmother had already been burnt to death.

During her initial attempts to escape, she said she looked through a window and saw the former husband of a close relative, accompanied by another man, walking away from the house.

Onissa said the close relative and the man had separated two months ago and since then he had threatened to burn down the house which he had helped to build, and where he had lived once.


Guyana Chronicle
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