Published On: Wed, Sep 17th, 2014

Cause explosion of explosives storage magazine unclear

Firework warehouseWILLEMSTAD - On December 15, 2012 around 14:50 pm an explosion occurred in the explosives storage magazine at the Seru Loraweg. The investigation into the cause of the explosion was named "Ground Zero." As a result of the explosion Eldridge "Richy" Renfurm, Nicky Emerenciana, Runyeon "Reintje" Reinita and Nerryque "Danny" Bethancourt died. Randell Constancia, Sic Chan and Canuto Finies were wounded in the explosion.

The Office of Tactical Investigation and the Bureau Technical Investigation, both of the Police Corps Curaçao and the Labor Inspectorate and Security investigated the cause of the explosion.

The Public Prosecutor (OM) concludes from the results of the investigation that it has not been established what was the actual cause of the explosion. Based on the investigation, it has been established that there is insufficient evidence that the explosion was caused by an external factor (e.g. someone throwing something burning in the magazine). However, there are sufficient indications that the cause of the blast was due to operations and conditions in the storage magazine.

On the grounds of the storage magazine and inside, where the explosion took place, there was a large amount of irregularities encountered such as cigarette butts, empty beer bottles, mobile phones and a glue gun. Investigators also found that in the shed (heavy) fireworks were moved.

A tangible cause can unfortunately not be determined because the four people who were in the shed, where the blast occurred, are deceased, and the blast destroyed so many traces in the storage magazine.

In conclusion, the prosecution considers that from the investigation, it can be concluded that there were defective conditions in the compliance, control and enforcement of the storage of (heavy) fireworks and that the underlying legislation needs to be improved.

Since it has not been established what the actual cause of the explosion is certainly the Prosecution cannot prosecute any (legal) person and only note that both the compliance, control and enforcement of the storage of (heavy) fireworks as well as the underlying legislation, should be given its due attention.

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