Five people have been confirmed dead, and several others are nursing injuries after an omnibus went over an embankment in Sandy Bay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday Afternoon.

At the time of the incident, the omnibus was said to be transporting the passengers to Owia, where they were going to attend the funeral of Rohan Rawlins, a local fisherman who was fatally shot near Georgetown in August.

The bus had originated from the South Leeward village of Clare Valley.

The deceased have been identified as Giovanni Barker, Ishmael Bruce, Elvis Harold, Collin Robin and Kenroy Haywood.

Reports say nine surviving passengers were transported to a hospital in Georgetown for treatment. As of Monday, a few people – including the driver – had been discharged, while at least one individual was in critical condition.

As Clare Valley residents mourn the loss of their own, and pray for the recovery of those who survived the incident, local authorities have promised to thoroughly investigate the matter.

Following the incident, theories spread across the region as people tried to decipher the cause of this tragedy. One popular theory was a mechanical failure of the vehicle – particularly brake failure. This theory, however, has not been confirmed by the police.

Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Dr the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves said on Monday that from his discussions with the commissioner of police that morning he could confirm that the brake failure theory has not yet been explored because the vehicle is yet to be checked out by investigations. He noted that the investigation is still in its early stages.

Gonsalves, who spoke during a radio program, said that his government is seeking ways to work with the affected families during this period of great mourning, and to offer assistance in respect to any arrangements that need to be made during this time.

He also expressed profound condolences to the family and friends of the deceased on behalf of the Government and people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and vowed to pay visits to the affected families, and those who were hospitalized, in the coming days.