Nov 7, 2010

Bamboo bursting ends in death | Trinidad Guardian

Dead is Gary Guevarro, 23, of Papourie Road, Diamond Village, San Fernando. Guevarro, who was employed as a safety officer, was bursting bamboo around 7.30 pm on Wednesday, when it exploded and ignited his clothes. Link to article here: Trinidad Guardian

In all my years of bursting bamboo I cannot recall any fatality with this fun activity. Yes bursting bamboo can be so much fun. I am sure the men bursting bamboo that evening when this tragedy occurred were competing with others in nearby districts. The booms would come fast and furious and one way to enhance the boom was to add carbide to the bamboo (in the pitch oil). The bamboo when heated and ignited from the lower end blasts out at the other end.

Now with the right length and density of the bamboo and the ideal heat the boom can become bombastic and create a frenzy of excitement that fuels a rhythmic response from nearby blasters. A split bamboo would bring to an end the efforts of the competitor but this usually happens with defective or over heated bamboos. I do hope that these young men were not experimenting with the carbide because this could have cause the bamboo to 'burst open' instead of simply splitting and bringing an end to their blasting. In this case we don't know why or how the situation occurred. Those young men are in shock... it is a very sad day indeed.

The sport of bursting bamboo now has to contend with the laws of the land regarding the 'noise nuisance' created by the bursting of the bamboo. A death in the bamboo bursting fraternity could be a game changing event with those in authority stopping the event from taking place.

However kids will continue with this traditional event and it is hoped that this does not happen again. It is advisable that the bursting is done in the traditional manner. Please don't use carbide to enhance the sound. Also please don't put condense milk cans or bottles at the end of the bamboo to blast away or enhance the sound since these situations can lead to an exploding bamboo. In the face of a disastrous situation with fire on clothing it is important that help is administered quickly. Those who burst the bamboo should keep in mind that without water available roll on the ground to stop the fire from spreading on your clothing.

My deepest condolences are extended to the family and friend and village of Mr. Gary Guevarro who lost his life while bursting bamboo.






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