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May 6, 2019

Fuel Leak is Suspected Cause of Deadly Boat Explosion

Benisford Matura

An investigation led by the National Fire Service is ongoing and efforts are being made to determine the cause of the massive explosion that killed Kimberly and Jamiri Guy.  The fire department was among the first responders to the scene of the deadly blast at the Ocean Ferry terminal and preliminary reports indicate that it may have been the result of a fuel leak. The call was made at 3:04 p.m. to the police. Scenes of Crime personnel arrived at the scene, two minutes later, while fire-fighters got there at 3:09 and BERT ambulance at 3:11.   According to Assistant Fire Chief Benisford Matura, the explosion happened when the captain attempted to engage the fourth engine in a series of two hundred horsepower outboard motors at the stern of the boat.


Benisford Matura, Assistant Fire Chief

“The boat captain was Ernesto Delgado, twenty-nine-years-old.  He was assisted by two deckhands, Santiago Guzman and Jonathan Teck.  They had just fueled up the boat and when the captain started, they had four engines, four two-hundred horsepower engines when the captain started the engines one by one.  On the fourth engine, that’s when the explosion occurred.  After dealing with the scene and we started to look at the preliminary examination of the stern of the boat, that’s the area of the back of the boat where the explosion occurred, we realized that at some point within the stern of the boat there was a buildup of gasoline.  So that showed us that there was a sign of some sort of leak, from either the fuel tank or the fuel line.  It is unknown which of the above but it’s still under investigation.  But we can ascertain that it was a leak.  When fuel, especially gasoline, it has a flammable range of one point five percent to seven point five percent.  Once the mixture of gasoline vapors is within the air at that range, any spark can triggered it off and that is what occurred yesterday in the stern of that boat.  There was a leak and it was at the right percentage and it created a sudden explosion.”

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