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Tuesday 20 August 2019
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‘Piccadilly Greens should be moved’

Second place Carnival Queen costume burns

Second place in the Senior Queen category Roxanne Omalo portraying Solar Goddess of the Sky at the Dimanche Gras.
Second place in the Senior Queen category Roxanne Omalo portraying Solar Goddess of the Sky at the Dimanche Gras.

The video went viral on social media showing the burning of the Solar Goddess of the Sky portrayed by Roxanne Omalo. It was the queen of Antourage Production’s 2019 presentation Masquerade: The Hidden Beauty. It was also the second place winner in the Carnival Queen competition.

The band’s designer Varma Lakahan is calling for the judging point Piccadilly Greens to be moved. He said it is dangerous because of the low hanging live wires there and the residents.

In explaining to Newsday what happened, Lakhan said, Piccadilly Greens is one of four judging points that the band had to cross.

“We have been passing there for nine years. Our costume, after the Kings and Queens competition is usually broken down because we try to get it to sit properly on the road to be judged again on Carnival Monday.

“The size of those costumes, they are usually 35 feet in height. So we break them down which is what we have been doing for the past nine years,” he said.

Lakhan said they never had this problem before but trucks and trailers used during Carnival when they pass on Piccadilly Greens the lines pulled “lower and lower.”

And unfortunately, the band’s queen costume got connected with one of those live wires that was hanging.

The tip of the wing of the costume touched the live wire and it began to spark because the front of the costume was made of foam, he said.

He denied anyone being hurt saying as soon as people saw the sparks they ran out of the costume.

“There was no one around the costume. The fire started to spread quickly because it is sponge and the whole front of the costume was ablaze,” he added.

The burning took place after 1 pm on Carnival Monday.

He said that 75 per cent of the costume was burned and there is “no coming back.”

But now Lakhan wants to take up the change of the judging point with NCC.

He added that T&TEC was coming down on the band asking why they were passing there with those kinds of costumes.

“I told T&TEC that I am going to send NCC a letter that it is either they move that judging point from there because it is dangerous...those wires there are very dangerous.

“It is very low and if they want Kings and Queens to pass through that area there they need to move that judging point,” Lakhan said.

He also said the area was dangerous because of the people. Lakhan said when the costume caught afire the area’s residents tried to “pick up bottle and stone us down. It was very frightening at that point in time.”

He added that the police, T&TEC and the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service responded quickly.

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