Headline — 11 July 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
Butane tank explosion  injures 5 persons

3 taken to the hospital; 2 refused to go to the KHMH for treatment

BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 9, 2018– Just before 4:30 p.m. this evening, a massive explosion rocked a two-storey concrete house located at the corner of Mahogany and Mopan Streets, opposite Brown’s Butane Depot. Many buildings, even cement buildings in the area, shook because of the power of the blast.

Many people in the area, in the seconds after the blast, believed that the explosion had occurred at Brown’s Butane Depot, but when they rushed into the street, as Belizeans normally do when such things happen, they found out, as thick, black smoke began to blanket the area around the building, that the explosion had occurred in a house in front of the butane depot.

Fire Department officials, at the fire station, were conducting interviews with reporters about a fire on San Pedro, when the explosion occurred, sending them scrambling into fire trucks to reach the scene.

In the short minutes it took the firefighters to reach the location where the explosion had occurred, a Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) ambulance appeared on the scene and three out of the five persons who had suffered various degrees of injury as a consequence of the explosion, were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).

Police moved quickly to cordon off the area to allow the emergency workers to function without interference from the members of the public, whose numbers had grown.

In a police report on the incident, police said that about 4:20 p.m. they visited the KHMH, where they observed a Belizean nurse assistant, Lisa Santos, 35, of 14 St. Jude Street, suffering from burns to her body.

Police also saw June Tench, 56, also of 14 St. Jude Street, suffering from minor burns to her body, and Grayson Cadle, 21, a call agent of corner Mahogany and Mopan Streets, suffering from burns on the lower part of his body.

The police report said that at about 4:00 p.m., whilst Grayson Cadle was in his room, he heard a loud explosion on the lower flat of a cement house located at the corner of Mahogany and Mopan Street, where he lived, and thereafter, he saw the house on fire.

Fire officials on the scene confirmed to reporters that a mid-size butane tank that had been leaking caused the explosion. It could not be confirmed at the time if someone had been using the stove.

Police said that June Tench and Lisa Santos had been sitting in their yard, and as a result, they sustained injuries to their body due to the debris caused by the explosion. The other three victims were apparently in the building.

None of the injuries appear to be life-threatening at this point.

The lower flat of the home and its contents were extensively damaged.

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