The Ministry of Public Works says that preliminary findings are that a steel cargo deposited at the cruise ship port caused the sinkhole affecting a large section at Sans Souci Port in Santo Domingo. The Ministry of Public Works is coordinating the removal of the cargo. The cruise ship port was not designed for passenger traffic, not to handle cargo.
The sinking of the northern side of the San Diego Terminal of the Sans Souci Port occurred on Tuesday, 28 March 2023 at around 9:45am. Deputy Minister of Equipment and Transport of the Ministry of Public Works, Élido Alcántara, said that initial findings are that the Pier # 6 section of the Port’s Don Diego collapsed due to the huge load of metal with weights of 2,000-2,500 kilos each deposited close to the building that houses the terminal’s offices.
Alcántara said no injuries were reported and that for the moment there is no imminent danger. He said efforts are ongoing to remove a part of the steel load to avoid the further collapse of the terminal area. Measures are taken to prevent the collapse from spreading further, since part of the ground near the area that sunk into the river is cracked.
On site are members of the Specialized Port Security Corps (CESEP), the National District Fire Department, the Emergency Operations Center, the Municipal Police, the General Directorate of Traffic Safety and Land Transportation (DIGESETT), who are collaborating with the Dominican Port Authority to mitigate the situation.
The Ministry of Public Works says that traffic over the nearby floating bridge continues open.
The section that collapsed is to the east of the Av. Francisco Caamaño Deñó (Avenida del Puerto), besides the Ozama Rivera. Vehicular traffic was not affected.
Intrant is recommending to avoid using the floating bridge and instead to move across the Ozama River using the Mella (Puente de la Bicicleta), Duarte and Juan Pablo Duarte bridges.
Intrant recommended that citizens traveling from the southern part of the city and who need to go to Santo Domingo East and vice versa, use Mexico and 27 de Febrero avenues.
In addition, vehicles coming from the North, from the María Auxiliadora sector, are recommended to use Josefa Brea and Rafael Atoa streets.
For the morning commute on Wednesday, 29 March, from Santo Domingo East to the National District, a left turn will be allowed at the Floating Bridge, heading towards the Malecon. For driving towards Santo Domingo East, Palo Hincado and Mexico Avenue will be used.
Geologist Osiris de Leon warned against using the port for cargo operations. The port was not designed for heavy cargo.
Teams from the Dominican Port Authority (Apordom) and the port operator, San Souci Ports are analyzing the material damages and coordinating the operations. The two docks of Terminal San Souci and the five docks of Terminal Santo Domingo remain active, without eventualities and are out of risk say the authorities.
The private management of the port is in charge.
The ferry that was using the dock and that travels to Puerto Rico was relocated to a dock further south.
29 March 2023