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Quarry explosions for Maya Train use being blamed for 70 damaged homes

Othón P. Blanco, Q.R. — State authorities have begun structural evaluations of homes after owners claim explosion damage. Residents in the community of Juan Sarabia blocked a section of Chetumal-Escárcega federal highway Tuesday to get the attention of authorities.

The large group of homeowners kept the block in place for more than 10 hours, claiming their concrete homes were being cracked due to the stone work. The explosions are being done in a nearby quarry where stone is being blasted for Maya Train construction use.

State Secretary Cristina Torres Gómez says the government is looking into their claims and that so far, more than a dozen homes have been inspected. She says that residents have reported damage to 70 homes in the community of Juan Sarabia.

“The number of houses that are going to be evaluated could increase, but for the moment we are going to focus on those 70. The work that is being done now is to verify if the houses have structural damage due to the explosions carried out to extract stone material from the stone benches nearby.

“That is, if they are the origin of these cracks that the inhabitants of Juan Sarabia complain about,” she said.

Torres says it will be toward the end of December when they will know if the claimed home damage is due to the quarry explosions.

Torres also said the state government has received third party complaints from drivers who were affected by the November 28 federal highway road block that lasted more than 10 hours.

“It has not been ruled out that these individuals file complaints against those allegedly responsible for the blockades,” she said adding that is is an issue the state government will also be aware of.

The extraction of stone material has been stepped up due to the pending deadline to finish the Maya Train project. Juan Sarabia residents had agreed with the government to two explosions per day, a number they say has now increased to eight.

In November, a group of homeowners in Cancun were successful in getting a rock quarry closed after their homes were affected by ongoing dynamite explosions.