Photo La Nacion, Julio Segura
Photo La Nacion, Julio Segura

QCOSTARICA – High winds continue to wreak havoc around the country, downing trees, affecting traffic lights around the San José area and claiming the lives of two Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) workers, killed when high win gusts overturned the “cherry picker”, a basked and crane (montacargas in Spanish) equipment used to work on electrical lines.

The accident occurred Saturday morning while Juan José Zapata, 50  and Gustavo Picado Leitón, 60, where working in the geothermal project La Pailas, in Curubandé de Liberia, at the foot of the Rincon de la Valle volcano.

Emergency took the two men to the Enrique Baltondano hospital in Liberia, where the two died shortly after arrival. A third worker, whose identity was not disclosed, is in stable condition at the hospital.

High winds are common in Guanacaste province, However especially strong winds this week caused the machine’s long crane are used to lift men to the heights of electric lines to collapse.

Zapata, who had eight years’ experience working on power lines with ICE, told his wife, Marjorie Porras, Saturday that he had been wary of working in high winds in the cherry picker. She called on ICE to exercise more caution. Zapata leaves two grown children.

The week closed with five deaths due to severe wind conditions. On Thursday, strong winds and waves are believed to have capsized a catamaran boat of the Pacific coast, with 109 passengers and crew. Three passengers died, all others were rescued.

Source: La Nacion, with additional files from


Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.