UPDATED: 12:31 a.m.: Summary of dead, injured and missing

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UPDATED: 12:31 a.m.: Summary of dead, injured and missing

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At least four people have been confirmed dead and multiple injured following an explosion at a Rayneau Construction-operated quarry and construction site in Cul de Sac, Castries this afternoon, according to official sources.

Reports are that a container exploded after 5 p.m. The cause of the explosion is not yet clear.

Below is a summary gathered from official sources:

* 22 patients brought into Victoria Hospital (VH).
* 4 confirmed dead – 3 died at the site, and 1 in A&E (VH).
* 9 seem to have minor injuries, but require further assessment
*  5 critically injured, four of which to be airlifted by military aircraft to Martinique.
* 3 are serious but stable.
* 1 person left before being treated.
* 1 person missing and not yet accounted for.

INITIAL REPORT FROM THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S COMMUNICATION TEAM

Victoria Hospital (VH) received 11 casualties from the explosion one passed away at the hospital being non-responsive to treatment. 2 patients were sent to the operating theatres for emergency procedures while the rest are being managed in ER and ICU. The hospital’s emergency mass casualty procedures are in full effect with all doctors, nurses, ancillary and admin staff on board. Management of VH site is being handled by the police in conjunction with hospital security. The newly appointed ED at Victoria Hospital Brenda Calixte indicated that the situation is fully under control at this moment and arrangement have been made with Martinique to provide additional support. Tapion Hospital also rendered assistance. The Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Planning also visited the hospital to render assistance and have confirmed the assistance of Martinique. The hospital has made provisions to accommodate family member in their staff lounge and provided coffee, tea and water. Hon. Guy Joseph is also working towards providing meals to all staff some of whom will be working extra long shifts.

UPDATE:

The patient count brought into VH from the explosion now stands at 22; only one has passed away at VH. Arrangements have been made for 4 patients to go to Martinique from tonight via military aircraft.

SNO REPORT

The dead and injured are believed to comprise mainly company employees.

The explosion occurred after 5 p.m. and was heard miles away. Initially, many persons in communities further away from the scene, mistook the aftershock of the explosion for an earthquake.

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61 COMMENTS

  1. Rayneau must be held fully accountable for this sad and unbearable tragedy. A thorough investigation needs to take place concerning what has happened to our citizens working at Cul de sac on that fateful day. Was it legal for Rayneau to possess such a highly volatile explosive, onsite and kept in such precarious conditions?. I remember clearly that dynamite was kept under lock and key at a bunker at Latoc, where only qualified police officers issued small quantities to certified personnel for use at quarry sites.

    Large quantities of dynamite, an explosive well known for its sensitivity to friction, shock and temperature, was leisurely kept within a metal shipping container which was exposed to extreme daytime temperatures within a compound where heavy equipment rumbled by occasionally. Upon realizing the blunder of his comical storage arrangement of such volatile incendiary devices, Mr. Rayneau authorized the erecting of a metal shed to shelter his onsite "bomb" from the radiating sunbeams. An unqualified, uncertified in the use and treatment of explosives welder was sent to build a metal shed with the use of an arc welding contraption. Strangely, the inevitable detonation didn't occur instantly, as any stray spark would have easily ignited the dynamite sticks.

    The welder inadvertently melted through the metal container while securing a piece of metal which again did not set the dynamite off, but instead started a small fire. There was obviously no form of protocol for dealing with such a dangerous situation, for instead of putting into effect a full and instant evacuation of the premises, workers were nonchalantly asked to fetch fire extinguishers which were kept hundreds of feet from where the incident occurred and water for when they run out.

    Within minutes, and sadly, a thundering explosion decimated employees and equipment without prejudice, leaving a scattered field of debris and human remains.

    Rayneau Gajadhar must be held fully accountable for this crime against humanity, illegally housing this "weapon of mass destruction" in such a negligent manner, which has resulted in such grief and loss of life of our citizens in St.Lucia.

    (11)(3)

    • Isn't it mandatory they should have an safety manager and environmental engineer overseeing all the safety aspects and making sure each individual have proper PPE and giving regular safety training. And why the hell a fucking container of dynamite not in in the bunker where it supposed to be properly secured. Rayneau should be charged and held accountable for all the damage caused.

      (3)(1)

    • Well said.. Rayneau Gajadhar need to be arrested and put in Jail.. They are just a bunch of suckers that what to claim otherwise.. While those poor people lost their lives.. It should be him that got injured in that explosion..

      (0)(0)

  2. After the families and friend are allowed to grieve and mourn I believe that the Government has to review the security procedures/protocols for ALL licensed importers of explosives.
    ✅ Storage facilities (are they adequate?) Proximity to other buildings?
    ✅ Are these facilities equipped with fire suppressing mechanisms (not an extinguisher), something that can be activated remotely?
    ✅ Visible signs (like "Danger zone", "No smoking", "No flames" etc.)?
    ✅ Are there Fire (or immediate danger) alarms etc.?
    And it also seems important to have yearly inspections to ensure that everything is up to date.
    The families and public will surely want answers...

    (8)(2)

    • Yes I agree. Maybe even store explosives underground at buckeye. Not near the oil of corse.

      Plus we need to review how the explosives are imported and how they are stored. How they are dispatched and even the procedure on how they are ignited.
      Now st.lucians can see what bombs do. Hope this also makes st.lucians more anti war.
      It's not nice to point fingers at reneau, however with the help of experts and some care this situation will be avoidable at this magnitude in the future.

      I am still very sad for the loss of life and reneau s human and physical resources.

      I cannot imagine how the family members feel and how reneau feels.

      (2)(1)

  3. Condolences to the affected families. My heart goes out to them. Prayers.
    You must treat your staff with respect, I'm heraring how the Own of the company did not treat his staff very well, I hope he has enough money now to pay for all the dead and injured expenses, when you treat ppl bad, you must pay, all the money he did not want to pay in salaries etc, he now has to find the money for all the injured and dead,.............sorry there were casualties, but, Jah is not sleeping, Mr. R. look into you heart,......what you going to say to the ppl now, with all your millions and cheating you staff.
    And what about Health and safety, did he have Employee Liability Insurance..??? would be interesting to hear.......Hmmmm

    (5)(1)

    • so you believe hear say? why not get facts? you would be ashamed when you see proof and discover that's a lie. you people have nothing better to do but to come here and talk bs.

      (0)(0)

      • Rayneau need to pay dearly for the lost of those people lives. Not like the other accidents before where he just game the families some hush money..

        (0)(0)

  4. My deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and my prayers for the casualties. St Lucia is one of my favorite island and I am deeply saddened by the accident.

    (2)(0)

  5. More safety regulations need to be enacted and possible penalties for failure to comply. A very sad and grim situation. My heart and prayers goes out to survivors, families, loved ones of the deceased and management and entire staff of the company. In all God is still gracious. Hopefully family members will be compensated without lengthy processes to add to their pain.

    with all said about Rayneau himself, no matter how he may be with his business deals or treatment of staff, low pay, no benefits but he is of course human and we must not neglect to include him in our prayers. God said love your enemies.

    (7)(2)

  6. Sympathy and prayers to those who have been affected by this tradegy.
    Definitely a Health and Safety issue in the waiting and how many more to come?
    PM focus on the citizens and visitors of the island. Let this be your wake up call to turn St Lucia around and restore the peace and harmony of the island we used to have. Let the citizens feel protected and valued by all . Re-focus your priorties as PM to the well-being of the island's people and development that will benefit all who love this unique land - our home ! Your rewards will be greater than you could imagine. Please !

    (2)(2)

  7. Wake up St.Lucians.
    It is high time to surrender to God. God is speaking to us every day through His words. Stop posting negative comments and condemning others. Put God first . Remember Sodom , the days of Noah , judgment is fall on the wicked.
    Let us make it right with our God. No one knows the day or the hour. Satan has come to steal and destroy but God has come to bless.
    Choose today whom you will serve God, or satan!!!!.

    To the grieving families. Hold on. God understand your pain .now is the time to hold on to God's unchanging hands. He will never leave you , nor forsaken you in time of grief.
    Surrender to God and His Word of promise is: In the world made new, there will be no more death, crying , pain or sorrow for all things are made new.
    Hold on .

    (7)(4)

  8. Condolences to the families of those who perished in this tragedy. Moving forward I need to ask some questions: how did a civilian have so mush explosives under his control and stored on his premises?

    Why were these explosives stored in a container?

    Which public official approved the storage of the explosives on a site other than the government storage facility at la Toc?

    Was the police aware that explosives were being stored at this facility?

    Who will be held accountable for the negligence which led to the slaughter of so many people?

    I have always known that the law is the law and no one, yes no one should be allowed to breach it or blatantly disregard it because of wealth, status or connections in society.

    I will be looking quietly to see the outcome of this investigation.

    (47)(1)

    • Sympathy and prayers for all those affected.
      This was definitely an UN-addressed Health and Safety issue waiting to happen.
      How many more to come ?
      PM focus on the Well-being of St.Lucia's citizens and visitors.
      Let this tradegy be your wake-up call to turn St.Lucia around and restore peace and harmony to out people so they feel protected and valued.Adjust your priorities and you will be rewarded. Please !

      (0)(4)

    • I t is very rare for such a catastrophe to occur n the island. So far from the news report it is being handled very efficiently. This is sad . I can only hope the families of the deceased can find some peace. Perhaps better safety measures can be looked at from now on.

      (2)(0)