Rhode Island Beach Reopens After Unexplained Blast

A Rhode Island beach reopened Sunday, a day after investigators concluded there was no public threat after an unexplained explosion blast knocked a beachgoer to the ground.

Salty Brine State Beach in Narragansett was open again to beachgoers, but there was no new information on the cause of the incident, state Department of Environmental Management spokeswoman Rayna Maguire said Sunday. She said the state fire marshal's office is continuing the investigation.

The beach was evacuated Saturday morning after witnesses reported a possible explosion. A woman sitting in a chair at the tideline was knocked into an adjacent rock breakwater, and then fell forward into the sand, officials said. She was conscious and alert when she was taken to a hospital. No one else was hurt.

Sixty-year-old Kathleen Danise of Waterbury, Connecticut, suffered two broken ribs, a concussion and bruises, but will be OK, her sister told reporter Mario Hilario from WJAR, an affiliate of necn and NBC. The victim's sister adds that she doesn't remember the incident after being thrown four feet high and 10 feet from her chair.

"There was some type of noise, there was some type of energy transfer. We have no evidence or indication that there was a device. This could be natural. It could be man-made," Kurt Blanchard, acting chief of the DEM's law enforcement division, told reporters at a briefing on the beach Saturday afternoon.

Mario Lewis of West Greenwich told the Providence Journal he heard the loud noise and saw the woman get knocked over a few feet from him.

"It was like an M-80 boom, like a grenade," he said.

Col. Steven O'Donnell of the Rhode Island State Police said late Saturday the investigation found no evidence that an explosive device caused the loud boom.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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