A Waterbury woman was severely injured while at a Rhode Island beach from an explosion on Saturday morning that has baffled authorities.
Kathleen Danise, 60, was enjoying a warm sunny weekend day at Salty Brine Beach when authorities said she was violently thrown from her chair and onto the rocks of a jetty around 11:15 a.m.
Saturday's blast is a sound the victim’s sister Laura Demartino said she will never forget.
"There was a massive bang and I actually seen rocks shift and move and I started screaming to get up, get up,” Demartino said. “The same time I’m screaming the sand erupted, threw my sister from there like a live cannon face down unconscious, 10 feet away."
Demartino returned to the same spot on Salty Brine Beach State Park on Sunday where her sister was so badly hurt during an unexplained explosion.
"After it happened, you saw large gutters of sand separated, you could actually see crevices like an earthquake. We didn't know, we thought it was an earthquake," Demartino said.
An eyewitness photo has surfaced of Danise being carried by first responders on a stretcher. Her sister said she will survive the incident.
"She has a severe concussion,” Demartino said. “She has two fractured ribs and she's (got) bumps and bruises all over." she had a pound of sand in her ears, her nose."
Family and friends are still scratching their heads about what may have caused the blast. Law enforcement agencies are also investigating the cause of the explosion. Terrorism, however, has been ruled out.
The Department of Emergency Management said it is possible the explosion was a natural occurrence.
"We believe there had been an explosion, a small explosion sub surface that literally erupted out of the sand," Larry Mouradjia with the Rhode Island Department of Emergency Management said.
Neighbors said the say Danise for just a brief moment on Sunday after she returned home.
"It was just unbelievable, she shouldn't have been through that," said Vanessa Hernandez.
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