You will remember the tragic incident in May of Last year, where the two sisters, 10-year-old Yamiri Yasmin Guy, and 8-year-old Kimberly Melissa Guy, died on a water taxi when it exploded at the Ocean Ferry Belize Water Taxi terminal.
Well, 7News has obtained a copy of the final report investigating what went wrong. That report suggests proper care was not taken to ensure that the gasoline and fumes in the vessel's tanks did not escape or spill.
The Port Authority investigators interviewed crew members, passengers, police investigators, BDF bomb experts and others to inspect the vessel's electrical wiring, its engines, and its fuel tanks.
Tonight, Daniel Ortiz looks into that report:
The 31-page document starts by establishing the details surrounding the explosion. The vessel, San Pedro-Jet Express, was scheduled to depart from the Ocean Ferry terminal at around 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, 2019. The vessel's captain was hired by Ocean Ferry to transport their passengers to the cayes because one of their own vessels was not operational.
Just before heading to the Ocean Ferry terminal, the vessel's master and his deckhands refueled the vessel with about 92 gallons of gas from the Northern Fishermen Cooperative.
Once they arrived, 34 passengers, including the Guy sisters, and their parents, boarded the vessel. Once everyone was seated, the vessel's master started all 3 engines without any problem.
When the captain turned on the final engine, there was some sort of malfunction, and shortly after that, the explosion erupted. Multiple passengers were injured in the blast but the Guy sisters suffered the most serious injuries, which turned out to be fatal.
One of the cleaners interviewed for the investigation shared his concern that perhaps, proper maintenance was not being done on the vessel, and that caused fuel to accumulate in areas where it shouldn't have been.
He said the vessel required constant cleaning when refueling its tanks. He added that when he was in charge of the maintenance, he would often clean the areas around the tanks with soap and water.
The authorities also conducted very detailed inspections on the parts of the vessel nearest to the fuel tanks.
These inspections revealed that its middle tank was partly saturated with what appeared to be fuel.
Also, the filler caps for 2 of the tanks were inspected, and they did not have any filler cap seal to prevent leakage and the escape of fumes from the tanks themselves.
2 of the vessel's fuel tanks were not constructed with filler hoses routed through the hull.
As a result, in order to refill these tanks, it had to be done inside the vessel, which caused any fuel spill residue and fumes to remain inside the vessel.
The Bilge pump area, which is the location that pumps water off the vessel, had also the strong odor of fuel. This is the compartment at the bottom of the vessel's hull, where water collects, and must be pumped out of the vessel.
In November of last year, the Port Authority charged Ernesto Delgado, the vessel's master, "San Pedro Water Jets International Limited", and the water taxi service operator, "Ocean Ferry Belize Limited" with negligence in causing the loss of life of Yamiri Guy And Kimberly Guy; causing a vessel that was unsafe to be sent on a voyage; and, attempting to send a vessel that was unsafe on a voyage.
The Port Authority now has to prove that these defendants are liable for the deadly explosion.