Five hospitalised following explosion & fire at Mucurapo Road dry cleaners

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 20:00

An explosion has resulted in a major fire at the Kleen Rite Dry Cleaners on Mucurapo Road. 

Fears of casualties were annulled as the Ministry of National Security confirmed via a tweet that there were no casualties. However the Ministry confirmed at 2.27pm that five people were taken to the St James Hospital. It also said that the fire appeared to be under control.

CNC3 has been told, however, that Sabrina Ali, the wife of the owner of the establishment was hurt in the incident. However, the extent of her injuries is not yet known.

The explosion occurred around 1.30 this afternoon.

The Ministry of National Security tweeted soon after the explosion: "There’s been an explosion at Kleen Rite Dry Cleaners at Mucurapo Rd, St. James. Several persons are said to be injured and trapped inside. Officers from the Fire Service, Police Service and ODPM are responding to an explosion at Kleen Rite Dry Cleaners, Mucurapo Road, St. James."

Part of the Audrey Jeffers highway heading east was closed off causing heavy traffic in the surrounding roads. The traffic on the roads around the fire was made even worse as thousands of party-goers attempt to get the popular Beach House All-Inclusive Fete in Chaguaramas.

Chief Fire Officer Kenny Gopaul has said that there were concerns about the gas station which is next to the dry cleaners, being caught as well but was satisfied that the officers did what they had to do to stop that from happening. 

He says the Fire Services were hampered by low water pressure as they had to wait for a WASA supply, escorted by the police through the traffic.

He says the fire was confined to the dry cleaners and spread to the Sherwin Williams warehouse which has also collapsed.

He says reports of casualties are "exaggerated at this time".

Fire officers responded from the Port-of-Spain, Woodbrook and Diego Martin fire stations.

Photo courtesy Stacey Sui Butt.