Sabotage in Jamaican oil blaze?
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Sabotage is suspected in a fire that destroyed a portion of the Exxon Corporation's oil terminal near here Jan. 10. The fire blazed throughout the day, but firefighters flown in from Kingston, the capital, helped local Montego Bay fire crews keep the blaze away from Montego Bay residential areas.
Monitor Latin America correspondent James Nelson Goodsell writes that the fire is likely to cause problems with gasoline supplies on the island for the next several weeks, until other storage terminals are able to compensate for the loss.
Damage estimates vary. But Exxon spokesman say the loss will run into the millions of dollars.
The immediate effect of the fire on Jamaica's government, headed by Prime Minister Edward Seaga, is likely to be minimal. For the moment, the key question is whether the incident was aimed at the government or at Exxon. That, however, remains an unanswered question.