The Pine, St Michael community is heaping blame on the National Housing Corporation (NHC) for the death of Kyrique Boyce.
The 17-year-old died in freak circumstances just after midday, falling 100 feet to his death after the cover of a well collapsed under him at #16 Martin Road, in the Pine.
An hour later, he was eventually pulled from the well by officers of the Barbados Fire Service in an unconscious state.
Eleven fire officers led by Acting Deputy Chief Errol Gaskin and two fire tenders from the Bridgetown and Worthing fire stations responded to the call.
But minutes after his body was whisked into a waiting ambulance and taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the loud wails which rang out throughout the close-knit community signalled the dreaded news.
Boyce, a former student of the Daryl Jordan Secondary School, was on his way to purchase a roti when the unthinkable happened.
Family friend Donisha Dottin, one of the last people to see him alive, told Barbados TODAY Boyce was among a group of friends who enjoyed themselves at karaoke on Wednesday night.
She said after the teen woke up from sleeping this afternoon, he decided to go and purchase a roti from a nearby shop.
“He was accustomed to going through there to buy rotis all the time, but even though we heard the noise when the well collapsed we didn’t know he was in there,” she said fighting back tears.
“It was only after one of the fellas realized it had collapsed that we went looking for Kyrique but we couldn’t find him. It was then that we went and looked and saw him in the well and he was still moving around, he was still alive.”
But even as friends and neighbours struggled to come to grips with his untimely and unfortunate death, they said it could have been avoided.
The residents claimed they had been calling the NHC for over a year to repair the damaged well into which Boyce fell.
They screamed at the top of their voices that it took death for the Government agency to respond.
Cathy-Ann Best, who lives a few feet away from the well was the most vociferous.
“NHC could have come and fixed the well every since but somebody had to die to get it fixed. That could have been one of my children,” she wailed at the top of her voice as her neighbour tried to console her.
A male resident who did not give his name said they had repeatedly called the NHC to repair the well, but to no avail.
“This is months and months that we have been calling them, but every time we called all they were telling us is that they don’t have the materials to fix the well.
“You could see that well was not cast properly because everything was cracked up. Even the steel was almost gone.”
He further showed Barbados TODAY several other wells in the district that were badly in need of repair.
Dottin said there were two wells, the 100-feet and a 50-feet, which concerned them.
“Both of those wells wanted fixing for the longest time. It has been more than a year that we have been calling NHC, but all we keep hearing is that they don’t have no materials.
“Let’s see if they will find materials now that somebody dead,” Dottin said.
Police public relations officer Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss said while he had heard the concerns of residents he was not in a position to comment.
“Well as you could appreciate at this stage, we can’t really comment on that. We are now starting our investigation to find out what exactly occurred prior to, during and after and we wouldn’t want to discuss that at this stage,” he said.
Inniss said police would continue to carry out investigations into Boyce’s unnatural death.