The ferry damaged yesterday in Playa del Carmen. The ferry damaged yesterday in Playa del Carmen.

Passenger ferry blast leaves 26 injured

Explosion occurred as passengers were disembarking in Playa del Carmen

Twenty-six people were injured in an explosion yesterday aboard a passenger ferry in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo.

Videos posted online by the newspaper Quintana Roo Hoy showed the blast sending a fireball and debris flying sideways from the ferry.

Municipal authorities said the explosion occurred while passengers were disembarking.

The vessel, which is operated by Barcos Caribe and runs between Playa del Carmen and the island of Cozumel, was left with a gaping hole in its starboard side next to a passenger seating area.

Local Civil Protection chief Juan Medina Sosa said that three Canadian passengers, two from the United States and 21 from Mexico, including a crew member, were injured in the explosion. All save the crewmember were reported in good condition and released from hospital later in the day.

The Barcos Caribe employee was admitted to the intensive care unit but his condition was later reported as stable.

Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín González said the explosion was most likely caused by a technical failure.

“We have no experts’ report yet, [the dock] is in the federal zone and the port is operated by a private entity. So far the most likely possibility is a technical failure, but that’s as far as the reports go,” he said.

The state’s port administration said in a statement that preliminary indications suggest a mechanical failure may have been to blame.

Activity at the dock where the blast occurred will remain suspended until further notice, said the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar) in a statement.

A temporary bridge has been laid by Semar between Playa del Carmen and Calica, Punta Venado, allowing passengers to reach an alternative ferry terminal from which to travel between the mainland and Cozumel.

Source: Noticaribe (sp), Milenio (sp), The Washington Post (en)

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