The detonation occurred in a hardware store and affected a veterinary clinic and a plastics factory.
An explosion in a store left at least 10 deceased, 37 injured and 11 missing in the city of San Cristobal, 24 km from the cital Santo Domingo, in Dominican Republicas reported by President Luis Abinader on Tuesday.
The powerful explosion rocked the shopping area on Monday afternoon around 3:10 p.m. local time, then sparked a fire and a huge plume of smoke.
According to the local press, the detonation originated in a hardware store and other businesses were affected as a veterinary clinic and a plastics factory.
“My word of deep condolences to (the relatives of) the 10 people, men, women and children, reported dead so far,” said Abinader, who visited the disaster area with a group of his ministers.
In addition, he said that they are “doing everything humanly possible to investigate the situation of 11 missing persons.” And he confirmed that there are “around 37 people hospitalized with various levels of impact.”
Some 17 fire brigade units are active in the area, where rescue teams they continue the incessant search under the rubble of the destroyed buildings.
Abinader pointed out that “an investigation will be carried out to determine the origin and causes of this terrible accident.”
“Meanwhile, we have to save lives of those who have been affected and injured and we are going to do it without any limit of resources so that every human life that we can save, with God’s help, we can do it,” added the president.
The mayor of the city, Jose Montas, told daily list that the authorities hoped “that in the next few hours the fire will be completely extinguished, so that all the technicians, the fire brigade and the executive managers can determine the reason or cause that caused the explosion.”
In nearby hospitals, dozens of people crowded to find out if their relatives, who they assumed were in the area when the explosion occurred, were hospitalized. Images with the faces of missing persons and phone numbers went viral on social media.
“We want to know what hpened to our relative,” Daysi Rodriguez told the press. “He was presumed to be here, but he’s not listed.”
“The windows of the house moved very strongly and I I thought it was an earthquake“, a witness told the newsper daily list. “I thought they were going to break.”
San Cristobal is the fourth most populous province in the country, with 688,828 of the 10 million inhabitants of this Caribbean country.
With information from agencies