September 28, 2020

St Lucia: Four killed, several injured in explosion

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CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Mar 22 2017 – At least four people were killed, more than 20 injured and at least four others airlifted to the neighbouring French island of as police launched an investigation into an explosion at a construction site in Cul de Sac, east of here on Tuesday evening.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has called on the nation to pray for the families of the victims.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones and those who are still waiting to find out information about their family members. You are all in our prayers in this difficult time. We must all support each other at this time and pray for our fellow St. Lucians,” Chastanet said.

“We must say thanks to the emergency personnel, the police and fire officers, who responded to the incident and who are still working tirelessly … at the site to find persons. The staff, the nurses and doctors, of the , who responded, some without being called and who are working overtime to attend to the injured must be thanked for their selfless dedication in the wake of this crisis,” he said, adding that the incident has taken the nation by shock.

The explosion was heard miles away, shattered glass windows and doors of nearby businesses, and destroyed offices and several pieces of heavy duty equipment on site.

It remains uncertain what caused the explosion but a supervisor told reporters that it may have been triggered by workers engaged in a welding operation in close proximity to a container loaded with explosive material, including dynamite.

Initially, many persons in communities further away from the blast, called state radio saying that they mistook the explosion for an earthquake, as another section of the capital engaged in a major regional tsunami response exercise referred to as “Caribewave 2017”.

The exercise held across the Caribbean and Latin America stimulated a widespread tsunami watch and warning situation throughout the region requiring the activation of local tsunami response plans.

According to health officials, 22 persons had been brought to the Victoria Hospital (VH) with four people, including three at the site confirmed dead.

The officials said that four persons had been airlifted by military aircraft to Martinique and that one person is reported missing following the incident that occurred at .

For more on this story go to: http://caribbeannewsservice.com/now/four-killed-several-injured-in-explosion/

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