Saturday, April 13, 2024

Teen third person to die from Union Island explosion


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KINGSTOWN – A 17-year-old secondary school girl who was seriously injured in an explosion at a gas station that killed the owner and another student on Union Island last Tuesday, died of her burns at a hospital in Trinidad on Wednesday night, relatives have confirmed.

Graniqua “Zara” Alexander had been flown to a hospital in Trinidad on Sunday, the same day that 14-year-old student Lindani Neverson and the gas station owner, Freddy Naert, 72, died of their injuries at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown.

The police have since launched an investigation into the explosion last week Tuesday night. They said it took at least five hours to extinguish the blaze and that steam continued to be emitted from the ground up to ten hours after the fire had destroyed the gas station and several other buildings.

Meanwhile, government has accepted an offer by Grenada to help with the supply of fuel to Union Island after fire destroyed the sole petrol station there.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said while Kingstown had not formally received correspondence from Grenada, the director of Grenadines Affairs, Edwin Snagg, is aware of the offer from St George’s.

“And I told Edwin fine, as long as this is done in a structured and organised manner. And the Commissioner of Police from Grenada got in touch yesterday with our commissioner, because, clearly, the issue is going to be the safety of the – how they collect the fuel and that should not be too problematic, but the mode of transportation of the fuel so that it is safe from the standpoint that the extent of the risk of any fire aboard whatever [is] bringing the fuel would be mitigated and also in relation to any spill,” Gonsalves said.

He said that the problem is that, currently, people in Union Island have to go to Canouan to buy fuel.

“If you’re going to Canouan to bring fuel in a speed board, it could be problematic,” said Gonsalves, adding that he has said publicly elsewhere that he welcomes the assistance that Grenada is offering.

He cited a letter he had written to Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell after an earlier exchange regarding cross border issues amidst novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“In fact, in my letter to my friend Keith Mitchell, the prime minister, after there was a little contretemps between him and myself with a statement he had made, I said in my letter that is water under the bridge and I said all I was doing really, I was not intending to stir up any trouble or anything,

“I just wanted to help our Grenadines brothers and sisters in Petite Martinique and Carriacou, as had happened subsequently because I am sure that if the shoe was on the other foot that Grenada would have helped us.

“The shoe is on the other food now in relation to fuel and I accept, no problem at all,” Gonsalves said. (CMC)


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