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Telefonica fire

Jun 4, 2009 For the shore teams supporting the boats out on the ocean racing, around the world races are a perfect example of the old saying. "hurry up and wait." Preparations before the race and work to be done between each leg can be substantial and is always under the pressure of the clock ticking down. The shore team of the Volvo Ocean racer Telefonica Blue, however, just had the added pressure of a an explosion in one of its storage containers.

From the story on the Volvo web site by Riath Al-Samarrai: An explosion at the Telefonica shore base last night has left the team with a substantial headache ahead of Saturday's leg eight start.

Approximately "60,000 to 70,000 euros" worth of damage was caused by the blast in one of their containers at 2300 local time, according to shore manager Campbell Field.

It is not yet known what caused the fire, but the local police's crime scene investigation unit indicated to Field that there was no foul play. Among the destroyed items were the two yachts' radars, as well as some electronic equipment and the base's kitchen.

"There was an explosion inside the container but we do not know what caused it," Field said. "The fire trucks were here within minutes and put it out, but it has caused quite a lot of damage.

"You could fit what was in that container into a small rubbish bin right now. Unfortunately there is a bunch of stuff which will be needed for the next leg, but we can source all of that no problem. We lost both of our radars, our electronic spares, our tool kits, a bunch of hard disks and a lot of data and spare computers.

"The whole container and everything in it, we are probably talking about 60,000 or 70,000 euros worth. It is significant."

Field confirmed no one was present at the time of the explosion and now expects the lost equipment to be replaced by the middle of this week.

He added: "Thankfully, no one was down here at the time and no one got injured. We can get up and running pretty soon; we should be able to replace all of the items by Wednesday or Thursday.

"Judging by the bows in the side of the container and the fact it blew all six doors wide open I'd say it was a pretty big bang."


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