Two students and a 72-year-old man suffered first, second and third degree burns and were rushed to hospital in St. Vincent after the fuel station in Union Island exploded Tuesday evening.
Lindini Neverson, l2, sustained second-degree burns about his body while her Union Island Secondary School schoolmate, Shaniqua “Azaria” Alexander, 17, sustained second and third degree burns.
Freddy Naert, 72, the owner of Freddy’s Gas Station, where the explosion occurred, sustained first degree burns about his body.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service transported the trio to Kingstown, where the nation’s main health care facility is located.
Police said that they have launched an investigation into the inferno, which took some four hours to be brought under control, but continued to produce thick steam also 10 hours after the blaze began.
The Union Island Fire Station was alerted at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday to an explosion at Freddy’s Gas Station located at Clifton, Union Island.
The gas station was engulfed in flames that rapidly spread to a number of nearby buildings, resulting in VINLEC, the municipal supplier of electricity, cutting power to the area.
“In a coordinated effort, the fire was brought under control by personnel from the Fire Department at approximately 11 p.m. but it remained visible up to 4 a.m. on Wednesday,” police said.
At 6 a.m. on Wednesday, firefighters were still on the scene addressing heavy steam coming from the foundation of the buildings and surrounding areas within the vicinity of the explosion.
iWitness News understand that a truck was delivering fuel to the service station when the fire occurred.
Radio Grenadines, which is based in Union Island, said on Wednesday, “several buildings were destroyed by fire”.
“With the help of numerous residents on Union Island and local firefighters, the fire was contained. One nearby building, the Roots Connection Culture Club was destroyed in the blaze,” the community focused media outlet said on its Facebook page.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, police said, adding that an update on the status of the injured persons would be provided in a subsequent press statement.
Jeremie Tronet provided iWitness News with the following footage of the raging inferno: