Antigua fire official confirms likely cause of LIAT fire
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Thursday, August 9, 2012 - Assistant Fire Commissioner Sylvester Jackson has reportedly told OBSERVER Media that the extensive June 10 fire that destroyed LIAT’s premises at the VC Bird International Airport in Antigua was sparked off by a golf cart left charging in the facility.
“The origin was given earlier as a golf cart which was left plugged in. Whether the golf cart itself had a problem or developed a short circuit we are not certain yet because there are certain things to be tested in that connection with the golf cart – to determine exactly whether it was the fault of the golf cart; faulty wires or transformers; etcetera or the type of battery used for the type of golf cart,” said Jackson in an exclusive interview yesterday (August 8).
The fire officer said the final report would contain details on the exact reason why the golf cart burst into flames.
The blaze, which occurred at the LIAT hangar after 10 pm on June 10, destroyed one of the company’s Dash 8-300 aircraft, a maintenance hangar and two offices, to the tune of over EC$35 million, according to LIAT.
Forensic investigators from Barbados joined local firemen in the probe and they provided a preliminary report on the findings to National Security Minister Dr Errol Cort.
On June 25, the minister told the public that arson had been ruled out.
A month later, when LIAT’s Chairman Jean Holder spoke of LIAT’s financial loss, he said the fire was accidental but he too did not go into details.
However, in his interview yesterday Jackson said: “We are still awaiting the final report but the origin is surrounding the golf cart and where it was situated at the time.”