CANCUN, Mexico – The number of injured in the ferry explosion on Playa del Carmen, in southeastern Mexico, rose to 24, with one Mexican national in critical condition, the Attorney General of the State of Quintana Roo said on Wednesday.
The Mexican national has been hospitalized in the intensive care unit with second and third degree burns, the Attorney General said in a statement.
The rest of the injured, including five Americans, were discharged after being treated for minor injuries, the statement read.
The incident occurred shortly before 1:00 pm, after the ferry moored in Riviera Maya resort and when the last passengers were preparing to disembark, according to a statement from the municipality of Solidaridad.
Security teams immediately went to the pier of Playa del Carmen after the explosion, the cause of which remains unknown.
The Solidaridad municipality mayor, Cristina Torres, said attending to the injured is the top priority at the moment.
According to Torres, they have been informed that people have suffered minor cuts and there were no life threatening injuries, but the injured needed to be taken to the hospital as part of protocol.
The ferry, which left Cozumel Island at noon, is owned by the shipping company Barcos Caribe, which has relatives of former State Governor, Roberto Borge Angulo, among its main stakeholders.
Company sources told EFE that it was a 2009 model ferry with a capacity of 400 passengers, but it had 104 passengers on board on Wednesday.
The explosion occurred on the middle deck of the vessel, in an area where only passengers are allowed.
The accident site is heavily guarded by the Mexican Army, which has also taken control of the pier on Cozumel Island.
The port captaincy has ordered suspension of all activities on the pier, where the damaged vessel remains moored.