The community of Santa Cruz in Santa Elena is still recovering from an explosion that literally shook them to their foundation. Last month Tiger Aggregates Limited was blasting at a quarry in the area to find material for road construction when too much explosive was put in one of the blasts. The explosion killed 70-year-old Ronald Sutherland, injured several others and damaged several houses and vehicles. When we spoke with the Mayor of San Ignacio Santa Elena, Earl Trapp, he said the victims are being compensated.
Earl Trapp – Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena
“I understand through the Minister that insurance has been dealing with the different cases where people had lost their houses and household items and houses are being replaced that were damaged and their household items will be replaced in basically all instances in that area. I personally know that the attorney that was dealing with the case they had sent me the number to give out to the people so they could get in touch with them and the day they would have been on the ground assessing the situation. All I know is that I know I gave some of the residents the number and they were the ones calling and what arrangements they made as to whether or not the entire house would be replaced I’m not sure but from what they told me is that they would have rebuilt a new house for them. Because if you notice especially in the immediate area the houses were totaled. It was totaled in that I was standing just beside a new house, the newest house that had just gone up I was beside that by the other house and every minute or so you could be heard a cracking noise coming from that house as if though it would crumble. So the houses are unsafe so in terms of where they are in building or beginning the new construction I know I was in that area I think it was Sunday and I had not seen any movements in terms of a new house being built there yet.”
Love news spoke with some residents who were satisfied with the repairs done to their homes, while others are still waiting. Reymundo Espinosa said he was not properly compensated.
Reymundo Espinosa – Food Vendor
“I left my home at 5, I saw polices by the explosion site but they did not tell me to move my children from the house. My son called me that there was an earthquake back here and stones were falling from the sky and I came from work to check, but I see thanks to the Almighty my children were good that nothing happened to them. The following day a lawyer came who told us that we will be compensated for the damages caused to our homes. I put in my application for three thousand eight hundred dollars, but I was only given two thousand eight hundred dollars.”
According to Belize Road Construction Limited’s attorney Rachel Montejo- Juan, when it came to Espinosa’s claim, the cracks on his home appeared to be old cracks and so he was given one thousand dollars less than what he requested. Montejo-Juan added that the company is still accepting claims. Juan said that thirty-four claims have been submitted so far and of that amount, sixteen have been paid out so far.