Friday, October 23, 2009

Fire at Gulf Refinery in Catano Puerto Rico

I just got home and checked my facebook as I always do, only to discover that at dawn [on several people indicated that the explosions began at 12:15 am] this morning there had been several explosions at the Gulf Refinery in (you tube eyewitnesses said it was in) Guaynabo rather than Catano, Puerto Rico. Many many people were affected. Ft. Buchanan, a military base is not far from it, as well as, several subdivisions. A juvenile detention center had to be evacuated, as well. According to the Nuevo Dia, there were no deaths to report in the Gulf Refinery itself, thank God, but a woman traveling by car near the refinery, was injured. Her severely burned car can be view online. Out of 40 huge tanks filled with petroleum, 11 caught on fire. The US Geological Service reported a small tremor at the same time of the explosions. Also from the same news source the FBI has been mobilized to help evacuate Ft. Buchanan which is close by and to investigate a message in graffiti that appeared in the Minillas Tunnel, in Santurce. The message was brief and said: Boom, Fuego, RIP, Gulf, Soul, which translated means Boom, Fire, RIP, Gulf, Soul. This graffiti can do no more to raise speculation of there being foul play in the matter. Police had to be sent to the tunnel to direct traffic so that gawkers would not hold back traffic. In fact, traffic was terribly affected because the De Diego Expressway that moves traffic from Manati and Bayamon to San Juan, had to be closed due to the dangerous situation. Classes were also suspended today in several adjacent towns, including Bayamon, Guaynabo, and Toa Baja. Businesses such Burger King, Goya, and others with warehouses in the this industrial zone also had to evacuated.

If you go to the Nuevo Dia website you can see an informative Photo Documentary showing the huge plume of smoke that can be seen miles away from the actual explosion site. It seems the smoke is blowing out to sea at this time but it will only be a matter of time for that wind to change direction and a lot more people will be affected. I hope by then everyone that needs to be evacuated will. Frankly, I think they should have closed the airport or start viewing airport video footage, because the person who left that graffiti could have been on his way to the airport which is in that same direction. Darn it, I would hate to see some evil person get away with damaging Puerto Rico.

This is a sad day for all of us who love Puerto Rico. God be with them, especially the woman who was injured.

This is a link for updates on the situation October 25, 2009.


Ana said...

I think it is entirely possible that the graffiti is opportunistic in nature. Could be someone trying to create a panic,but not actually responsible.

The whole thing is just awful however.

Anonymous said...

The most probable cause for this disaster is negligence by the oil company due to lack of maintenance. This has been repeated on the news media, mostly radio, by people who know the company and/or have worked there. The company has been bankrupt for years and if there's no money, there's no maintenance. The government has tried to gain political milage out of the situation, insinuating sabotage while commentaries by engineers and specialist attest to corporate negligence. In any event, a very tragic event. Must wait for a thorough investigation to reveal the true causes of this horrific event that still may affect the population even more. The damage is just beginning to surface...damage to the water ways, the air and now possibly, acid rain. Sarah