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Nov 30, 2009

Boat explodes at Brown Sugar Marketplace

Story PictureThe tranquility of the harbor in the vicinity of Brown Sugar Marketplace in downtown Belize City was disrupted late Friday night when a fishing boat exploded shortly after ten p.m. Firefighters and cops combed through the debris in the area looking for clues to what caused the explosion. The caretaker could not be located at the time and it was feared that he may have been affected by the explosion. News Five’s Duane Moody was at the scene and has this report.

Duane Moody, Reporting
The explosion was heard almost a mile away. The blast shook the nearby Bliss Centre sending patrons of the dance extravaganza scurrying away. The explosion came from “Ardeni”, a boat, belonging to fifty-two year old Jaime Sosa Senior, who is a fisherman of Sarteneja Village in Corozal and a member of the Northern Fishermen Cooperative Society Limited.

The boat’s canopy and engine shattered to pieces and the frame of the bottom half was completely submerged. The specific cause of the explosion has not been determined but Fire Service personnel say it was fueled by a broken line in a butane gas tank.

Kenneth Mortis, Training Officer, Nat’l Fire Service
“Friday night in the Brown Sugar area where the boat docks, the department received a call of an explosion about one of the vessels. This took place shortly after ten; I would say about five after ten to be exact. Upon the departments arrival we found that a vessel belonging to Mr. James Sosa of Sarteneja village had indeed had a ruptured tank on board. Further investigation led us to learn that the fifty pound butane cylinder had a ruptured line from one of the regulator valves. It had a leak and an ignition source from somewhere, which we are yet to determine created the explosion.”

According the Mortis, a diving tank was also found inside the rubbles. It was filled with butane.

Kenneth Mortis
“What we found funny, as it may seem, is a common diving tank that has now been converted into a butane tank. And as strange as it may seem, this tank was actually filled by one of the butane depots. Luckily, because of the structural integrity of this particular diving tank that did not suffer any explosive damage. But because of the contents of the LPG, we believe that the contents would have in turn broken down the structural integrity of this tank and sometime around the corner there would have been another explosion.”

Luckily, no one was injured in the blast. The caretaker was later located, but it is believed that the explosion was staged and police have since detained one person. Duane Moody, reporting for News Five.

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