On Wednesday, a series of explosions tore through two barges at two different shipyards near Cartagena, Columbia, killing seven and wounded 23.
A spokesperson for the Cartagena Fire Department told AFP that there were three explosions at two yards: Cotecmar Mamonal, a naval yard owned by a public-private partnership, and Astivik, a small commercial repair yard. The facilities are located about two miles apart in an industrial district south of Cartagena.
Nearly-simultaneous explosions at two separate shipyards are an unusual coincidence, but police are investigating the incident as an accident, not an act of terrorism or sabotage. Captain José Magallanes, the head of Cartagena's fire department, said that his investigators believe that flammable gases accumulated within the hulls of the two barges, leading to the explosions. Bomb squad technicians determined that the blasts were not caused by explosive devices, and no ties between the separate incidents have been found.
The dead include yard employees Luis Cervantes Yepes, Manuel Montes Guardo, Carlos Arturo Castro Ledesma and Óscar Castro Morillo. 16 individuals remain hospitalized, including three with severe burns. One firefighter was wounded during the response effort.
@wilis_rd @COTECMAR @jorvane @ARZAHE1 @ControlVisible @AFBETANCOURT @RevistaMetro @lbertoortiz Se incendian dos barcazas de Impala el mismo día, en diferentes astilleros de Mamonal distanciados a más de 5 km @COTECMAR @Cormagdalena pic.twitter.com/4TtsDXE9tF— #YoVotéPorMockus2010 (@autenticoleo) May 17, 2017