Scientists search soil for clues after mystery beach blast

AP News
|
Posted: Jul 16, 2015 1:08 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A team of scientists is hoping to dig up clues about what led to a mysterious blast on a Rhode Island beach that sent a woman flying into a jetty.

The Department of Environmental Management said Thursday that a team led by researchers at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography is collecting soil samples from Salty Brine beach in Narragansett.

University of Rhode Island chemist Brian Heikes says scientists are looking at whether conditions are suitable for hydrogen and methane.

Heikes said the chemicals can cause explosions without leaving behind a trace of evidence.

Authorities say there is no physical evidence of an explosive device.

The beach was temporarily evacuated Saturday after a Waterbury, Connecticut, woman was thrown into a nearby jetty after a loud boom.