By Alexis R. Milan
Captain Romaldo Badillo, who was severely burned in a boat explosion last Thursday, is in Guatemala receiving treatment for second and third degree burns he received to 75 percent of his body.
Badillo’s family will hold a telethon on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to raise funds for his medical bills. Supporters can also make contributions to Atlantic Bank, account 211567972. The telethon number to call is 223-7664.
The other three men who were involved in the accident remain in Belize receiving treatment for their injuries. Thirty-four year old George Gonzalez also received burns to the body while the other two, Wallace Flowers, 41, and Stephen Bradley, 52, escaped mostly unhurt.
Bradley, the owner of the boat, said that the engine on the boat was a new one and had a little more than 30 hours of total use. According to Bradley, they had just lowered the boat in the water off the seawall in the Hangar area. The engine had been running for about four minutes before there was an explosion which set ablaze the entire vessel.
The men were on their way to San Pedro to take supplies for the Easter weekend. Bradley recalled the event saying that when the explosion occurred, he, Gonzalez and Flowers were thrown out of the boat while Badillo fell in a semi-unconscious daze, inside the boat.
There was a secondary explosion and Badillo managed to roll out of the vessel into the water but at that point he was already extensively burned. A nearby passing boat stopped and rendered aid. It took Badillo to a dock where an ambulance met him and took him to a hospital
The boat, valued at $60,000 and everything on-board were completely destroyed $60,000. Bradley had reportedly bought the boat two-weeks prior to the incident.
Fire department investigations have revealed that a five gallon container filled with gasoline on board the vessel had not been properly closed and fumes from the container reached the engine, which caused the container to explode.