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Explosions kill six at Colombia shipyards

18 May 2017

Colombian police are investigating explosions at two shipyards in Cartagena that killed at least six people and injured 22 others. The blasts occurred within about 30 minutes of each other on May 17 at two industrial facilities that are at least six kilometres apart. Black plumes of smoke rose into the sky from the scene of each blast. Some of the injured were seriously burned.

Cotecmar shipyard, Cartagena, Colombia - Image: Cotecmar
Cotecmar shipyard, Cartagena, Colombia - Image: Cotecmar

The first explosion was aboard a ship undergoing repairs at a facility operated by Cotecmar, which is linked to Colombia's defence ministry. The second blast rocked the Astivik Shipyards, owned by a US corporation, which builds specialised barges, floating docks and tugboats.

Authorities said investigators will focus both on the cause of the blasts and whether they were related.

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