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Oct 22, 2018

Popular Benque Taxi Man Drowns in Mopan River

In Benque Viejo Del Carmen, police do not suspect foul play in the drowning of a popular taxi operator. Abel Chi lost his life in the waters of the Mopan River on Saturday morning when he went for a swim. Chi, who is originally from Guatemala, suffered from epilepsy and it is believed he experienced a seizure and drowned. News Five’s Duane Moody reports. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

A well-known taxi operator in the west perished over the weekend when he decided to take a swim in the Mopan River. Sixty-year-old Abel Chi drowned on Saturday morning as he took a dip in the flooded river that was several feet above normal water level. His body was spotted around eleven-thirty a.m. near the bank of the river and one resident quickly rushed to retrieve the body before the current swept it further downstream.


Voice of: Resident

“I mi deh home listening to music with my daughter and family and then we actually just peep outside on the river and we saw something di float like six feet away. Right now as you can see the river done gone down. When we actually saw a blue thing di float on the water and we actually gone down to peep to see if it was somebody. And we see that somebody mi deh pan the water. I immediately tell my sister make dehn call the police and we proceeded down to attempt to reach the man. When we actually reach to the man, we just pull him to the shore.”


Duane Moody

“What was he doing down there? Swimming? Lotta people use this area to swim?”


Voice of: Resident

“Actually dehn lee drunk man who like deh about on the street, they like come here and take a lee bath and so. But like I say, we never see the man when he gone down. We didn’t see him at all until we saw the thing floating.”


Chi was a member of the Riverside Taxi Association in Benque Viejo del Carmen and had been living in that western town for years now. He is originally from a small community in Guatemala. Earlier this morning, following a post-mortem on Chi’s remains, family members transported the body to Samuelito for burial. Police say that foul play is not suspected.


Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“Police were called to Riverside Street in Benque Viejo Town where they observed the lifeless body of a Hispanic male, later identified as Abel Chi, a sixty-years taxi driver of a Benque Viejo Town address on the banks of the Mopan River. According to family members the last time he was seen alive was on Friday, the nineteenth of October sometime around eight p.m.  The body was removed from the banks and some of his belongings were also found on the banks of the river. A post-mortem has since been concluded on the body at which conclusion, it was reported to be accidental drowning.”


Relatives say that Chi was epileptic. It is believed that he suffered a seizure and collapsed into the river.  Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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