Disasters & Accidents

Dominican Republic mourns victims of deadly explosion

Santo Domingo, Aug 17 (EFE).- Dominican President Luis Abinader declared Thursday a national day of mourning for the victims of a massive explosion and subsequent fire this week that left at least 27 people dead.

The Emergency Operations Center (COE) also confirmed 59 people were injured in Monday’s incident in the province of San Cristobal, near the capital Santo Domingo, the cause of which is still unknown.

Although the COE claims that there are no missing persons, some were still searching for their loved ones and were still demanding information from the emergency services three days after the disaster.

The head of the COE, General Juan Manuel Mendez, said on Wednesday that procedures to identify the victims could take days while the National Institute of Forensic Sciences (Inacif) is able to carry out DNA tests, as many of the bodies that have been found cannot be identified.

Three days after the accident, the causes of the explosion, which is believed to have started in a hardware store and spread to adjacent businesses, are still under investigation.

Abinader ordered members of the Intelligence Directorate of the Armed Forces to join the investigation to explain the causes of the explosion.

The president announced that the Dominican government would provide all the necessary assistance to those affected by the tragedy and that the state of affected buildings that could pose a danger to the public would be evaluated in order to proceed with their demolition if necessary.

The country’s Public Health ministry reported on Thursday that more than 100 people have received psychological assistance and that about twenty brigades are carrying out house-to-house work to identify possible respiratory diseases and other illnesses that could be intensified by the conflagration. EFE


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