Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo — Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of the Navy, the Federal Police, the State Attorney General’s Office and Civil Protection inspected the Caribbean ferry that exploded Wednesday.
It also emerged that the ship is allegedly owned by the father of former Quintana Roo Gov. Roberto Borge Angulo as well as the family’s lawyer.
Charged with money laundering, Borge Angulo was arrested at a Panama airport in June while about to board a plane to Paris. He remains in jail, awaiting trial.
The ship’s pier is closed until further notice while boats on other docks pick up the slack shuttling tourists to Cozumel.
Up to 25 people, including some U.S. and Canadian tourists, were injured in the explosion.
The blast, which happened while the boat was docked, left the vessel with a large hole on its starboard side, the AP reported. A mechanical failure was blamed after a preliminary investigation.
Jesus Vega Arriaga, general director of the Navega group, the space’s concessionaire, said he spoke with the National Defense Secretariat and the Navy, who told him that no one could enter that part of the dock until the investigations were completed. No timeline was offered.
Barcos Caribe, which owns the boat, is financially responsible for the loss, which the concessionaire said will be covered by insurance.
Vega Arriaga said the situation is “a wake-up call” to the tourism industry, comparing it to “an airplane catching fire in an airport.” But Vega Arriaga also told U.S. media that the dock is a very safe place.
The last of the hospitalized passengers were discharged, leaving only one ferry worker under observation.
Via telephone, an anonymous caller who said he was a representative of Barcos Caribe insisted that the boat was in perfect condition.
Although its operations resumed, Barcos Caribe’s headquarters in Cozumel remained closed all day.