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Oct 2, 2023

B.D.F. Says IED, Aviation Official Says Fireworks

Last Tuesday, the Belize Defense Force’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit determined that a crude object found onboard a Maya Island Air flight from San Pedro was an improvised explosive device, an IED.  This was after a bomb expert, retired B.D.F. commander David Jones, was called to assist with a situation at the Belize Municipal Airport.  According to a report submitted following an investigation, the IED was, “black in color in a cardboard case.  The cardboard body was removed to determine the filling, which as then identified to be that of a binary dynamite with high explosive filling.  A picture of the IED is attached to the report and the initiator was then ignited to verify if it was a live one.  The initiator was set off which indicated that the device is real and not a fake.  The device, if had been set off onboard the flight, could have tremendously cause the aircraft to explode”.  Tonight, the Director of Civil Aviation says that there is sufficient evidence, notwithstanding the B.D.F.’s conclusion, that the device was, quote, a pyrotechnic flare that may have been used during the recent celebrations.  So, how could an explosive specialist get it wrong, or is the B.D.F.’s conclusion being debunked simply to prevent incidental consequences within the domestic aviation industry?  We begin with a timeline as shared by Director of Aviation Nigel Carter.


Nigel Carter

Nigel Carter, Director of Civil Aviation

“On the twenty-sixth of September, we were alerted by Maya Island Air’s management of an aircraft that had landed at the municipal airport with what was suspected to be an improvised explosive device or IED, for short.  Maya Island Air, the flight originated from San Pedro at or about midday and landed at the municipal airport where the passengers deplaned the aircraft and the staff there at Maya Island Air was alerted of the device.  Maya Island Air, following their security protocols, called the police and in turn informed the bomb squad.  The bomb squad then came, they looked at the device, removed it from the aircraft and are now holding it in custody.  The device was removed from the aircraft without any incident. There is sufficient evidence to show that the device was in fact not an improvised explosive device, but more a pyrotechnic flare that was probably used for one of the events that occurred on or about during the September Celebrations.  While we’re not the investigating body, I do want to put in a caveat that we are not the investigating body.  That is actually in the hands of the police, but notwithstanding, we do have sufficient evidence to believe that it was not in fact an improvised explosive device, but instead what is referred to as a cold flare.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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