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Blast rocks Gibraltar port

Tue 31st May 2011

A number of passengers were injured following an explosion close to a ship currently docked in Gibraltar.

A statement released by the ships owner, Royal Caribbean, states that the Independence of the Seas was docked alongside the pier at the port of Gibraltar when a nearby fuel tank exploded. The statement went on to say howt the ship immediately retracted the gangway and moved back to a safe distance.

Ten passengers have received medical treatment onboard the ship for what has been described as 'minor injuries'.

The workman undertaking the welding work was seriously injured in the blast, and a policeman making a rescue attempt also suffered injuries.

Officials say the blast was caused by a spark from welding taking place on the tank, but they are not ruling out the possibility of an attack until a full investigation is complete.

Air transportation to and from Gibraltar was temporarily suspended and offices in the port were evacuated as a precaution.

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