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Ferry operator of exploded Barcos Caribe ship left burned, in debt

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The ferry operator of the Barcos Caribe ship that exploded in February says he’s been left with burns to nearly half of his body and part of a million peso hospital debt.

In an interview with La Verdad, José Juan Martínez Zamudio says his life has not been the same since the accident, and that he wants those responsible arrested as well as compensation for the damages he has suffered.

“I demand that the parties be found guilty and pay compensation” he said. He explained that on the day of the accident, he was on the ferry when he suddenly felt an explosion. He did not know what was happening and was confused and disorientated.

He was rushed to hospital where he says he spent a month and-a-half.

“I have second-degree burns on my arms, left hand, burn on my face, neck and incrustation of crystals on the eyelid of my right eye and ear. Those were the damages caused by the explosion,” he told La Verdad.

“As far as I know there is a debt of around one million peso for the attention all the injured received. It is something that my lawyer is already seeing to.”

Martínez Zamudio says he has been told that the damage may be permanent in some parts of his body, which could leave him with the inability to work. He says that no one has stepped up to take care of his hospital bill or offer compensation and that worries him.

“On the day of the events, the PGR made me give my statement without my lawyer,” he said.

On February 21, a Playa del Carmen passenger ferry belonging to Barcos Caribe exploded after docking, sending 26 to hospital. Initial reports claimed a mechanical failure, however, it was later learned that the explosion was the result of an explosive device.

Investigators continue to work on the full report.

The Maritime Terminal of Playa del Carmen says that during the Easter weekend from Monday to Sunday, over 125,000 passengers took  the ferry to cross to/from Playa del Carmen and Cozumel.