NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — Authorities are investigating after a small explosion was reported at Salty Brine Beach Saturday.
According to Larry Mouradjian, Associate Director of Natural Resources at the Dept. of Environmental Management, the explosion occurred around 11:20 a.m. in an area between the low and high tides.
DEM officials said a loud noise was reported at the time of the explosion.
Mouradjian said sand in the area of the explosion was wet, and has since been covered by the rising tide. The sand in the area has been transported from the scene after being removed with an excavator.
“We believed there had been an explosion, a small explosion — sub-surface– that literally erupted out of the sand and virtually caused one of our beach patrons to ultimately fall backwards and forwards. And ultimately required medical transport,” he said during a news conference Saturday afternoon.
She was taken to South County Hospital for treatment. She was reportedly conscious and alert while being removed from the beach.
Mouradjian confirmed that members of the bomb squad and the State Fire Marshal’s office are leading the investigation. He said DEM, state and local police departments, Environmental police, and members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco are assisting.
The beach was closed for the day, and Mouradjian said he expects the beach to reopen Sunday.
According to Mouradjian, there appeared “to have been some ground disturbance,” and he compared the patterns in the sand to “fractures.”
He said there is no indication at this time that the event was malicious — and officials said they do not believe it is related to the recent boat fires in the area.
The investigation is currently ongoing.