(NARRAGANSETT, R.I.) — Rhode Island officials said they are “leaving no stone unturned” as they try to unravel the mystery behind a beach explosion that injured a woman over the weekend.
However, there was no new information that would cause officials to deem the beach unsafe, according to Janet Coit, director of the Rhode Island department of environmental management, ABC News’ Rhode Island affiliate WLNE-TV reported after a Tuesday press conference.
Officials are investigating cables below that sand that were disabled, or “de-energized,” in 2007, Coit said Tuesday.
Larry Mouradjian, associate director for natural resources, said officials were taking the matter “very seriously,” and they are concerned that they still don’t know the cause.
The explosion on Saturday at the Salty Brine State Beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island, injured Kathleen Danise, 60, when she was launched onto nearby rocks. She suffered a concussion and broken ribs and was briefly hospitalized.
On Tuesday, an abandoned cable that is the property of the U.S. Coast Guard was identified a few feet below the sand while some of the beach was closed to the public, WLNE-TV reported.
Jack Chartier, Rhode Island fire marshal, said there was no evidence of explosives, but investigators are “leaving no stone unturned,” WLNE-TV reported, adding that the cable removal was nearly complete. Lieutenant Colonel Todd Catlow of the Rhode Island State Police said investigators were not ruling out the possibility of an energized cable, WLNE-TV reported.
“She was like a human cannon,” Danise’s sister, Laura Demartino, told ABC News affiliate WTNH-TV in New Haven, Connecticut.
While several beach-goers said they smelled gas after the explosion, a spokesman for National Grid, which manages gas and electric service in the area, said there are no gas lines along the beach. The closest gas service to the point where Danise was injured is about 200 yards away, the spokesman told ABC News, adding that a power cable had been found under the beach but the company is certain it isn’t theirs.
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