The investigation into a massive explosion last week that left at least 31 people dead led to the discovery of evidence that the Dominican authorities are using to pursue a criminal case against a plastics manufacturer.
According to a joint statement from the Public Ministry and the Police, the explosion happened at Vidal Plast, not a bakery, as previously reported by the authorities.
The explosion happened on Monday in the middle of a busy commercial district in San Cristobal, a community located close to Santo Domingo’s capital. “The Public Ministry has evidence that compromises the criminal responsibility of those responsible who, with their actions, caused the deaths of dozens of people and caused millions in losses,” the statement read, quoting prosecutor Fadulia Rosa Rubio.
The ministry did not name the individuals it claimed to be looking into. It was impossible to get in touch with Vidal Plast’s owners for a very long time.
According to officials, the company recycles, purchases, and sells plastic products. Authorities added that they had proof that a spark and chemical product sparked a fire at the company in March and that the corporation failed to take any precautions “despite knowing the high risk of its operations.”
The municipality had previously closed the facility, according to Vctor Bisonó, minister of industry and trade, but he gave no further information.
According to N Digital, a reputable online publication in the Dominican Republic, the business was established in 2003. One of the company’s founders was quoted as saying that the factory was not in use and that two of its employees were merely removing items from the scene when the explosion occurred, with one of them subsequently dying.
On Friday, authorities increased the death toll from 28 to 31. They said that seven of the dead had already been given names. The administration estimated on Thursday that it might take up to three months to identify every victim of the explosion.
The explosion also injured 59 additional people, the bulk of whom are still in hospitals.
Another explosion occurred in San Cristobal, the city where dictator Rafael Trujillo was born, over 23 years ago. In October 2000, an explosion at an ammunition storage facility resulted in at least two fatalities, more than twenty-four injuries, and the evacuation of thousands of people by the authorities.