The broken store sign that fell and injured masquerader Rachel Mohammed in San Fernando on Carnival Tuesday. Photo-Trevor Watson

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Masquerader hit by falling store sign, to sue

...Rachel Mohammed lost her costume, ended up in hospital on Carnival Tuesday

By CAROLYN KISSOON carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

The masquerader injured by a falling sign in San Fernando on Carnival Tuesday intends to take legal action, to ensure such an incident does not happen again.

Rachel Mohammed, a masquerader in Ivan Kalicharan Masqueraders band, suffered back injuries when a sign fell, hitting her on the back.

The rotted sign was overhanging the pavement along High Street, San Fernando. The sign advertised a clothing store.
Mohammed, 28, said, "I was standing on the pavement with two friends when the sign fell. It hit us and we fell to the ground. I had injuries to my back. I was taken to hospital in a Red Cross ambulance with was with the band. I had to undergo several tests and x-rays. I was told that I had soft tissue damage, but I am also having a lot of pains in my bones."

Mohammed, of Preysal, said she had played mas in San Fernando for over ten years and never had an injury.

"This was unfair and embarrassing. I paid $2,800 to play mas and I lost everything when I fell. I lost my headpiece, arm bands, everything," she said.

Mohammed, mother of a four-year-old daughter, said she was unable to care for herself or her child. "My husband has to do everything for me. I cannot even bathe my child. He has to stay home from work and do everything," she said.

Mohammed said she has been seeking legal advice and intends to take legal action. "This is not right. These signs pose great danger to people. There is always a lot of people of High Street, so this could have happened to anyone. Part of the sign is still hanging there. The landlord contacted me and I informed her that I am seeking legal advice. I want to make sure that this does not happen to anyone again," she said.

Mohammed said she was still visiting her doctors regularly and needs to undergo more tests.

Last week, San Fernando City Corporation chief executive officer Indarjit Singh was mandated to instruct the city engineer department to remove all illegal signs along High Street.

Mayor Kazim Hosein said the signs posed danger to pedestrians and instructed that notices were delivered to store owners immediately.
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