Saturday, April 13, 2024

UPDATE: Fire under control after explosion at Paragon

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Two Barbados Defence Force (BDF) soldiers were injured in an explosion at its Paragon Base in Christ Church today but the resulting blaze has been brought under control.

Both soldiers were transported to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. One of them reportedly had serious injuries. 

Police Public Relations Officer Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss said police received an emergency call around 11:20 a.m. which indicated there was a fire. Police officers from the Airport and Oistins stations responded and investigations led them to Paragon, where it was discovered that the explosion occurred as a result of fireworks and other explosive devices stored at the base.

BDF public relations officer, Lt Shimar Gollop, said the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients housed at Paragon remain in quarantine as there was no need to evacuate the base at this time.

Emergency personnel quickly brought the fire under control, according to Inniss. He said officers from the Barbados Fire Service responded with about four tenders.

Nation News was told members of the Royal Barbados Police Force Bomb Squad also responded to the scene.

Inniss said two 40-foot containers and two vehicles were damaged, but the explosion did not occur near the buildings housing BDF personnel.

Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic, BDF Chief of Staff Colonel Glyne Grannum and Fire Chief Errol Maynard were also on the scene.

A Nation News team observed three truck loads of sand being taken to the scene.

Residents in neighbouring areas were shaken by the explosion which echoed around Fairy Valley and was heard in Charnocks.

A large number of people gathered as black smoke filled the air.

Investigations are ongoing. (KG)

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