Friday 15 November 2019

British banker killed as Hurricane Sandy rages

A BRITISH investment banker has been killed trying to repair a window shutter as Hurricane Sandy raged through the Bahamas.

Timothy Fraser-Smith (66) chief executive of Deltec Bank & Trust since 2000, fell from the roof of his home in wealthy Lyford Cay late on Thursday, police said.

The tragedy occurred at around 9.30pm as the Category 2 hurricane tore through the islands with 100 mph wind and up to 12 inches of rain.

Reports in the Bahamas Press said that Mr Fraser-Smith went outside to fix a shutter on his balcony when he fell to his death and that a family member later discovered him.

Sandy spun away from the Bahamas on Saturday, churning northward towards the US East Coast, where it threatens to join with winter weather fronts to create a superstorm.

The banker's death was one of more than 40 across the Caribbean.

Mr Fraser-Smith began his careers at Grindlays Bank, London in the early 1970s and worked in a variety of corporate banking functions across the world, including Lebanon, Pakistan, Greece, New York and Hong Kong.

In 1984 ANZ acquired Grindlays and Mr Fraser-Smith moved to Switzerland to head private banking activity there, before further stints in London and again in Switzerland.

Deltec said he studied law at the University of Edinburgh before gaining an MBA from Cranfield Business School.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm the death of a British national in the Bahamas on October 25."

While Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas took direct hits from the storm, the majority of deaths and most extensive damage was in impoverished Haiti, where it has rained almost non-stop since Tuesday.

Joseph Edgard Celestin, a spokesman for Haiti's civil protection office, said some people died trying to cross rivers swollen by rains from Sandy's outer reaches.

The death toll in the country hit 26 on Friday but officials are worried that the number could rise as searches continued in the country's ramshackle housing and denuded hillsides that are especially vulnerable to flooding when rains come.

With the storm projected to hit the US Atlantic Coast early on Tuesday, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned it could merge with two other systems to become a hybrid, monster storm dubbed "Frankenstorm".

New York has declared a state of emergency ahead of its arrival.

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