Six dead in arson attack in Bridgetown, Barbados

Monday, September 6, 2010

Violent crime is a rare occasion in Barbados

Six people have died after a clothing store was set on fire during an armed robbery in Bridgetown, Barbados. Two men entered Campus Trendz Clothing Store wielding machetes and demanded money. The pair then set a fire and fled the scene.

Three employees and three customers headed to the back of the store to try and escape the blaze but failed to exit the store. All of the victims were female and one is reported to have been a toddler.

A witness described the events saying that he was stood on the pavement outside of the store when he saw a man run across the pavement.

The witness said, "Then a second fellah with something like a scarf over his face ran behind him and then I heard this big explosion. Within minutes I saw this big gush of smoke and the whole of the store was on fire. I have never seen anything like that.”

Former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur has called for "stiff penalties" for those responsible for the attack. He said “When somebody could throw a cocktail in a building where other Barbadians are, we have to call it what it is, modern terrorism and they must face the full measure and full weight [of the law].” He has also called for a national day of mourning for the victims.