Today the scene took on formality from the joint response team. The Belize Port Authority assumed control of the vessel and took it for further investigation. At today’s press briefing the police tallied the numbers and confirmed that there were fourteen individuals injured and two who passed away as a result of the explosion on the 45 feet vessel named San Pedro Water Jet Express. In addition to Belizeans, ASP Alejandro Cowo the officer in charge for CIB, Belize City says there were two Canadians and six US Nationals who were injured.
ASP Alejandro Cowo – Head CIB Belize City: “Police observed several persons suffering from different degrees of injuries being burn injuries and other fracture injuries to their bodies. As a result, police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and Medical Associates where upon conclusion of checking both hospitals, it was learned that a total of fourteen persons were admitted in both institutions suffering from various degrees of burns and fractures to their body. Also, unfortunately, two minors passed away from the incident at the Ocean Ferry. What police gathered is that the water taxi was about to depart from Belize City en route to Caye Caulker and San Pedro. One of the engines was being started when the Captain heard a loud explosion resulting in some of the passengers to be flown away from their location due to the extent of the blast and other persons received injuries to their bodies. Police called the BDF expert, Coast Guard personnel, Port Authority and they worked together throughout last night to determine what was the exact cause of this explosion. Up to this moment, an exact cause of the explosion has not to be ascertained yet as the boat was towed this morning from the Ocean Ferry to Old Belize where a proper examination is being conducted by Port Authority, BDF and the Police Department. It was a total of thirty-four passengers that were on board of the vessel already and there was some of them that was still about to board the vessel. Some of them suffered first degree burns, the others had fractured parts of their body. I know that only two persons are still at the hospital: two Canadian Nationals. They received fractures to their legs.”
Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “And the extent of the parents of the girls?
ASP Alejandro Cowo – Head CIB Belize City: “The mother suffered a minor injury, she was treated and released last night. The common law husband is still admitted at the hospital.”
Reporter: “What injuries is he suffering from?”
ASP Alejandro Cowo – Head CIB Belize City: “He has fractured injuries and burns likewise.”
Jose Sanchez- Reporter: “In terms of your investigation are you leaning more towards Ocean Ferry which owns the terminal or is it the company Water Jets International whom is actually the charter boat owner?”
ASP Alejandro Cowo – Head CIB Belize City: “Well, we are looking at both companies at this moment. I do not know the agreement that they had for that water jet to come get the passengers from here to go to to Caye Caulker and San Pedro but that is something that is between them. We have to investigate the matter of the persons inside the boat.”