Rumours began surfacing yesterday that one more body was discovered near the scene of Tuesday’s massive explosion at the Cul de Sac quarry.
Calls and Whatsapp messages to St. Lucia News Online (SNO) indicated that the body of a male was discovered. A photo of the deceased, totally naked, and in an open body bag, was also sent to SNO.
SNO confirmed that several other media houses were contacted with the ‘news’ and sent the photo, which was apparently taken from the internet.
However, a law enforcement official, who prefers to remain anonymous, told SNO that some members of the public are trying to wilfully spread false information.
“Oh, the big penis corpse? Not true,” the official remarked when SNO asked if the department is aware of an image of a dead body that is said to be a victim of the quarry explosion.
“That is not true. All the bodies have been accounted for, three dead. No other body was found. No one else has died,” the source added.
Even Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is aware of the misinformation circulating about the death toll.
At a news briefing yesterday to give an update on the aftermath of the explosion, Chastanet said the death toll remains at three.
Chastanet said persons have to be mindful of the information that they pass on, bearing in mind that this can hurt families.
“I have been hearing all kinds of reports,” Chastanet told reporters. “I think it is very, very important that because families are involved that we be careful in terms of the information that’s reported.”
Four patients from Victoria Hospital who arrived in Martinique Wednesday morning in critical condition are still alive.
Chastanet said: “The four people who have been sent to Martinique, the last report that I… got is that two of them had undergone surgery but that everybody, whilst still at risk, was very much stabilised, and so there’s been no further loss of life. Right now all we have were the three people who have lost their lives – two who lost their lives on the site – and Simon (Straughn) who lost his life at the hospital.”
Following the explosion various media reported incorrect figures. On the day of the tragedy, while casualties were flowing into the hospital, another online media reported that eight people died.
On Wednesday, a local print newspaper reported that the death toll is five, even after a joint press conference held that same day revealed that only three people were killed and over 20 injured.