After blast, RI asks Coast Guard to remove old power lines

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo wants the Coast Guard to remove abandoned power cables near state beaches after a corroded copper cable was named the likely cause of an explosion that injured a beachgoer, Kathleen Danise, 60, of Waterbury, who suffered fractured ribs as a result of the blast.

Scientists determined that the July 11 explosion at Salty Brine Beach in Narragansett was probably caused by the combustion of hydrogen that had built up around the cable.

The cable was installed under the sand in the 1950s. It powered navigational lights before it was disconnected and abandoned. A new cable was installed in the 1980s. The Coast Guard later converted its navigational aids to solar power.

Both cables have been removed from under the beach, but portions remain under water beyond the low tide line.

The Coast Guard is reviewing Raimondo’s request.

Danise’s family says she was thrown ten feet into rock breakwater during the explosion near her beach chair. Her sister and her daughter’s finance told reporters that Danise suffered two fractured ribs and bruising.

She was released from the hospital and returned to her home in Waterbury.

Her family says she has vacationed at Salty Brine for 30 years.