Tear Gas at Agua Trinidad

The pungent odour of tear gas sent hundreds of Agua Trinidad patrons scampering from the Queen’s Park Savannah early Sunday morning. Just fifteen minutes after the party had come to a close, a large crowd of patrons making their way from the Savannah fell victim to the tear gas, suffering severe irritation to their eyes, nose and throat. 96.1 WEFM station owner, Tony “Chinese Laundry” Chow Lin On said that he was standing at the back stage entrance, attending to the dismounting of water tanks when he noticed “a pungent odour” and saw groups of patrons running to the TGIF restaurant, obliquely opposite the party venue. However, Chow Lin On insisted that the party itself had been “without incident,” adding that he had spoken to “senior police officers” present at the party, and “they were not aware” of tear gas being fired. WEFM station manager, Robert Dash, said that he had “no knowledge of such an incident” although he had spoken to the “senior officers” on the scene after the party. “I have no knowledge of that at all,” Dash said, yesterday, when he was asked about the incident. The question of who fired the tear gas and why remains unanswered. Saturday night was the second instalment of Agua Trinidad, a Carnival version of the radio station’s annual “Watercolours” fete. Tight security at all entrances ensured that the only triggers pulled in the party belonged to plastic water guns. Below a cloudless sky, several elevated platforms were strategically positioned to serve a dual purpose, allowing “water men” armed with fire hoses to soak revellers and providing a vantage point for security personnel to survey the skimpily-clad crowd. The incident occurred just after a high-quality performance by Bunji Garlin and the Asylum, featuring Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon, Patrice Roberts and Three Sons, had brought the party to a close. One highlight of the night was Bunji’s duet with Explainer, a special rendition of the remake of “Lorraine.” No rain would blessed the night’s festivities. Still, when Atlantik’s Destra Garcia emerged, she was clad in a rainbow-coloured transparent negligee and matching bikini. Atlantik’s set featured Maximus Dan and S. Marshall. Big band Traffik put down a solid performance, Shurwayne Winchester pleasuring the crowd with his road march contender ” and Iwer George capturing the moment perfectly with “De People Want Water.” The night also featured performances by artistes Mini Priest, Pelf, Zan, H2O Phlo, Ziggy Rankin and Dawg E. Slaughter, as well as DJs Rapid Response, Matsimela, Radioactive and Associate Degree. Although organisers said the night had passed relatively smoothly, without fights or major injuries, the tear gas incident was enough to bring big men to tears and leave a bitter taste in the mouths of all feters in proximity.

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