Marina explosion causes millions in damage

DANVERS, Mass. – Millions of dollars of damage greeted business and boat owners this week as they got their first look at the 240-vessel Liberty Marina which is located next to a factory that was destroyed last month by a massive chemical explosion, the Boston Globe reported in a story on its Web site today.

Many of those who surveyed the destruction were shocked at what they saw: shattered windows on the boats and hunks of wood, pieces of Plexiglass, nails, shingles, and other debris scattered on the ground, particularly near the heavily damaged main building. Insurance specialists, and the marina owner believe that the explosion caused at least $2 million in damage to boats and possibly $2 million more to the marina buildings, the Globe reported.

“I don’t think people realize the extent of boat damage,” Stephen P. Charette, a marine surveyor assessing the vessels for insurance companies told the newspaper. “It’s devastating to a lot of people. The damage has been catastrophic.”

Among the dozens of boats surveyed so far, about 40 vessels are damaged. The insurance specialists are discovering very few signs of fire damage and are not seeing punctures to the hulls from flying debris. Instead, the recreational vessels, which had values ranging from $20,000 to $500,000 before the explosion, were damaged from within.

“The insides of the boat are literally sucked outward,” Jonathan K. Klopman, a marine surveyor from Marblehead told the newspaper. “Every locker is blown open. Windows are sucked out. Boat hatches are blown out. It’s really unusual stuff.”

Fire Chief James Tutko of Danvers said the boats are casualties of an air blast that flew through the Danversport neighborhood about 3 a.m. on Nov. 22 after the initial detonation of the building that housed makers of ink and industrial paint. He said firefighters were able to quickly bring the fire under control, and the geography of the boatyard, lying slightly lower than the foundation of the destroyed building, helped shield the boats from debris and heat damage, the Globe reported.

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