RADHICA DE SILVA
Shock and horror gripped Tableland residents on Thursday after a tractor flipped upside down, killing logger Shaheed Kabul inside a forest track.
Villagers trekked along the bumpy road for almost a mile and waited along the log-lined track to see the body being brought out of the forest.
Kabul’s cousins, Barry Singh and Roger Mahabir, struggled to hold back their tears as the corpse was put into the undertaker’s van.
Singh said Kabul, 31, of Red Road, New Grant, was transporting logs around 9:30 am when the tractor flipped, pinning him. He died instantly.
Singh said Kabul didn’t stand a chance.
“He was driving the tractor and pulling two logs at a time. These logs are heavy. One log alone is about half a tonne. He probably was going a little too fast and the logs must have choked. That would cause the tractor to flip,” said Singh, an experienced logger.
He described Kabul as a hard-working father of two who loved to make chow.
“Just last night we limed and made chow. He was a chow man. Anything you ask him to do he was right there, always a kind and helpful fella,” Singh said.
He explained that jobs became hard during the pandemic, but Kabul always did whatever was available.
Having been in the logging industry for several years, Singh said the job was extremely dangerous.
This is why, he said, he got out of the business and found himself another job.
Meanwhile, Mahabir said Kabul was generous and always helpful.
He said he did not understand what happened to flip the tractor.
“When we got there the tractor was on top of him, wheels up,” he said.
Tableland police officers visited the scene and are in the process of interviewing other loggers who were in that area.
Kabul’s mother, Janet, was said to be distraught.
Guardian Media will bring you more on this story later.