Speaking from the Victoria Hospital where several of the injured were taken following the incident Prime Minister Chastanet said:
“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones and those who are still waiting to find out information about their family members. You are all in our prayers in this difficult time. We must all support each other at this time and pray for our fellow Saint Lucians.
We must say thanks to the emergency personnel, the police and fire officers, who responded to the incident and who are still working tirelessly into the night at the site to find persons. The staff, the nurses and doctors, of the Victoria Hospital, who responded, some without being called and who are working overtime to attend to the injured must be thanked for their selfless dedication in the wake of this crisis. We should be so proud of all the staff and emergency response persons. This is testimony to what we can do as a people if we work together.”
He says the incident has taken the nation by shock and expressed profound grief over the loss of life.
Reports are that the incident occurred shortly after 5:00 p.m. at Rayneau Constructions site in Cul De Sac, when according to reports, a container packed with dynamite exploded.
Reports suggest that workers were performing welding work on the top of the container and it is believed that sparks fell onto the dynamite.
The blast sent a massive shockwave for miles, with individuals as far as Bois d’Orange claiming to have heard the explosion.
Due to the size of the blast, it was a case of all hands on deck as fire, ambulance and police assistance from several emergency stations including Gros Islet were required.