Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has expressed solidarity with the people of Union island and in particular those injured by last evening’s fire at a Gas Station in Clifton.

Speaking on radio, Dr. Gonsalves said the government will be making every effort to ensure that the victims receive the necessary medical treatment.

The fire occurred on Union Island on Tuesday May 19th, at about 6:40 p.m. and according to investigations the Union Island Fire Station was alerted about an explosion at Freddy’s Gas Station located at Clifton.

The gas station was reportedly engulfed in flames which rapidly spread to a number of nearby buildings, causing the St. Vincent Electricity Company Limited (VINLEC) to cut power to the area.

In a coordinated effort the fire was brought under control by personnel from the Fire Department at approximately 11pm, but it remained visible up to 4 a.m. yesterday.

At 6 a.m. firefighters were still on the scene addressing heavy steam coming from the foundation/ground of the buildings and surrounding areas within the vicinity of the explosion.

Three (3) persons reportedly sustained injuries from the incident and were subsequently rushed to mainland, St. Vincent, to seek medical attention at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service (SVGCG).

They are Lindini Neverson, a l2 year old Student of Union Island who sustained second degree burns about his body; Freddy North, a 72 year old the owner of Freddy’s Gas Station, who sustained first degree burns about his body; and Shaniqua “Azaria” Alexander, 17 years old Student of Union Island, who sustained both second and third degree burns about her body.

A release from the Police says the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

An update on the health of the injured persons along with an assessment of the damage caused by the fire has not yet been ascertained and will be published in a subsequent press release.

Following a consultation with the relevant stakeholders – an increase in the amount of passengers travelling in public service vehicles was recommended with immediate effect.

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