Explosive thrown at Pegasus Hotel -glass doors shattered

By Desiree Jodah
Stabroek News
January 7, 1998

Nineteen glass doors at the five-star Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel shattered at about 3.20 am yesterday when a suspected grenade detonated in the hotel compound but no-one was injured.

A release from the Guyana Police Force said that the explosion, which occurred in the area of the newly renovated Kingston wing, shattered 19 sliding glass doors. No-one has so far been arrested and investigations are continuing.

The explosion was the second such incident in the city in two days. On Monday morning, two devices detonated after they were reportedly thrown into the compound of the National Television Network (NTN) at Brickdam and Boyle Place. Thirty-nine-year-old Seudyal Singh, a security guard, was hospitalised and remains in a critical condition from injuries he received as a result of the explosion. And just two weeks ago, two explosive devices were discovered by police on a culvert in Bel Air and detonated by police in the Bel Air playground.

Crime Chief, Floyd McDonald, said that no-one was arrested in connection with these incidents and investigation are continuing. General Manager of the Le Meridien Pegasus, Barry Curran, said that the explosion yesterday damaged the glass doors on three floors of the hotel on the northern side. Curran said that the rooms were occupied, but no-one was injured. However, six guests had to be relocated.

The manager said that he did not know what type of device had been lobbed at the hotel, but a source told Stabroek News that it was a hand grenade. According to Curran, the device was apparently near the perimeter fence of the hotel.

While unable to give an estimate of the damage, Curran said that the safety glass needed to replace the doors had to be imported. He added, however, that business at the hotel was continuing as normal.

"No idea," was Curran's reply when asked if he knew of any reason why the hotel was targeted. Meanwhile, a source told this newspaper that the device had more likely been thrown by someone from the seawall in the vicinity of the Kingston wing - the latest addition to the hotel on the northern side - since no section of the fence was damaged.

The source said that if the device had been placed near the fence then it would have damaged the fence. Another source said that between 2.30 and 3 am, a white car without licence plates drove past on Battery Road, Kingston.

This road, which goes around the hotel on the north westerly side, leads to the seawall. The source said that an explosion was heard shortly after. According to a guest who had occupied one of the rooms affected by the blast, he was awakened by the blast and when he looked outside he saw someone standing outside the fence.

However, he said, the person was standing in the shadows. He said that he was only aware someone was standing there when the person moved.