Deadly tank explosion: workers used gasoline that reportedly ignited

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Police in Region Six are investigating the circumstances surrounding the explosion of a concrete reservoir which resulted in the death of a 52-year-old contractor and injured his 31-year-old worker.

Dead is Oliver France of No.51 Village, Corentyne, Berbice and hospitalised in a serious condition is Jamal Rose, 31, of No. 53 Village, Corentyne, Berbice. The incident occurred at approximately 09:30 hrs.

Reports indicate that the men were contracted to work at the home of Onika Thompson at Leeds, No. 50 Village when the incident took place. France and Rose were working on a concrete reservoir at the back of the yard when it exploded with France inside and Rose on top.

A concrete reservoir exploded on Friday (Photo: News Room/November 25, 2022)

France died while being transported to the Port Mourant Hospital. Rose was rushed to the Skeldon Hospital where he remains a patient.

Meanwhile, at the scene, the concrete reservoir was completely shattered with blood splatters amongst the debris.

There was a black water tank in the neighbour’s yard with a section melted by the explosion; nearby glass louvers were also shattered from the impact of the explosion. There was a strong scent of gasoline and what appeared to be fresh tar was seen on the inner section of the concrete reservoir that exploded.

Based on the information provided to News Room by the police, the men had tarred a section inside of the concrete tank to remedy a leak, however, it did not stop the leak and as such, they decided to use gasoline to remove the tar.

It is alleged that someone was using a power tool nearby and a spark flew and caught onto the gasoline, resulting in the explosion.

Christhal Ward, the sister-in-law of the dead man told reporters that her mother informed her that her brother-in-law was dead.

“I was at the station with my mother and she come in and said Oliver dead and I said you talking sheer madness.”

Ward said she was told that he was working at her cousin’s house and the tank blew up with him inside.

“When we got there we only saw blood and stuff we didn’t get to see them…”

The mother of the injured man, Delma Lowenfield also relayed that she was told that her son was burnt and that he was taken to the hospital. She said she hasn’t gotten the chance to speak with him or see him as yet but that his sisters are with him.

An investigation is underway.

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