Jersey's Chief Minister reflects on 'the most difficult week in recent memory'

Deputy Kristina Moore told Jersey politicians: "One tragic incident is enough to shake a small community. To have a second within a matter of days is not something we have ever experienced"

Jersey's Chief Minister has paid tribute to the islanders that died in "tragic circumstances" this week.

Speaking in the island's parliament, the States Assembly, Deputy Kristina Moore offered her "heartfelt condolences" to the families of those who lost their lives or have been missing since a fishing boat crash on Thursday 8 December and the St Helier explosion on Saturday 10 December.

As the recovery phase of the search for four people that remain missing following the explosion continues, the Chief Minister says "we must regrettably be prepared for more bad news" in the coming hours and days.

"We also have a number of families who have been displaced and who are currently coming to terms with the shock of what has happened, having had to leave their homes in an emergency with only the clothes they were wearing" she added.

Members of Jersey's States Assembly fell silent on Monday before the Chief Minister gave her speech.

Deputy Moore says she greatly appreciates the work of the Parish of St Helier and Andium Homes to support the families displaced by the explosion.

She offers her continued support and solidarity to those affected in the days and months ahead.

The Chief Minister has also given an update on the situation at sea as authorities continue to survey and search the site of the collision between the L'Ecume and the Commodore Goodwill.

"As Members will know, Jersey is a community of seafarers with so much of our history, culture and identity intrinsically linked to the fishing industry.

"We know that the sea can be dangerous, but nonetheless incidents such as the one we witnessed last Thursday are shocking, unforeseen, and desperately sad.

"The fishing industry is closely knit, as was clearly demonstrated by the speed, nature and extent of the search and rescue effort at sea."

An investigation will be launched to discover how the incident happened, and the Chief Minister has expressed her hope that this will eventually become clear.

Another investigation is also underway into the explosion at Haut du Mont on Pier Road.

Deputy Moore says "that investigation will be independent at every stage, and will provide the facts of what happened for the families and loved ones of everyone involved.

"We have been so fortunate to benefit from the skill, expertise and generosity of so many professionals, volunteers, and individuals from across the public, private and charitable sectors both within and outside the Island.

"I want to particularly thank our neighbours in Brittany, Normandy, the other Channel Islands and the United Kingdom who have provided essential equipment and personnel."

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