The trinidad Guardian / A mental outpatient became the first casualty of the recent nationwide flooding when he drowned in the swollen Lengua River in Barrackpore.

Relatives said as flood waters rose on Monday afternoon during a thunderstorm, the river swell was so much that water reached over a bridge along Cunjal Road, where 53-year-old Kashib Ali would usually cross daily to get food and medicine.

A report stated that Ali, who lived alone on Cummoto Road, Barrackpore, was last seen walking near the river around 2 pm. Later on when relatives went to his home he was nowhere to be found. A missing person’s report was made to Barrackpore police. As the search went into yesterday morning, a Cunjal Road resident reported seeing a body on the river bank.

Police and relatives arrived and confirmed Ali’s identity. An initial examination suggested he drowned as there was no sign of violence. But investigators said they were not sure if he slipped into the river.

Ali’s brother, Ackbar, told the T&T Guardian yesterday that he used to take care of Ali’s medication and mail, but he lived a half mile away at Realise Road. Along the road was small bridge across over the Lengua River, which was being threatened by flash floods

“He went missing around 3 o’clock and we did not know where to look for him. Normally, he came for his medication between 2 and 3. When we missed him, I sent my son to look for him because he was supposed to come for food and medication,” Ackbar said.

“When we made some inquiries people said they saw him going to the river, but he didn’t reach across by me. Then I realised something was wrong. We started to look but we could not do much because the river was really high so we had to wait until we got a search party and we found him about 500 feet from where we expected him to cross the bridge. I feel because of the height of the water, he got swept away.”





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