Mystery Beach Blast Turned Woman Into 'Human Cannon'
Kathleen Danise recovering with concussion, broken ribs
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2015 12:06 PM CDT
Authorities investigate a mysterious blast that threw a beachgoer into a nearby jetty at Salty Brine beach in Narragansett, R.I., on Saturday, July 11, 2015.   (Steve Szydlowski/Providence Journal via AP)

(Newser) – The last thing Kathleen Danise remembers from Saturday's trip to Salty Brine State Beach in Narragansett, RI, is reading her book as a man nearby suited up in scuba gear. Then suddenly, an explosion launched the 60-year-old woman onto a rock jetty 10 feet away, breaking two of her ribs and knocking her unconscious for three minutes, reports WTNH and CBS News. "She was like a human cannon," her sister says. A bomb squad searched the beach—which Danise has frequented for 30 years—for explosives or evidence of a malicious attack, but nothing turned up, reports ABC 6. Officials, who say they're stumped, are "leaving no stone unturned" as they investigate whether cables buried in the sand, supposedly disabled in 2007, might be to blame, reports ABC News. The beach remains at least partially open.

Two abandoned Coast Guard cables were dug up from the sand yesterday, though it isn't clear if they had anything to do with the explosion. Some witnesses reportedly smelled gas after the accident, but a rep for National Grid says the nearest gas line is 200 yards from where Danise was injured. One cable found beneath the beach, which National Grid says isn't theirs, shows no signs of charring, debris, or explosive residue, reports CBS News. An official says simply "there was some type of noise and some type of energy transfer." Some are suggesting a seismic event or a methane explosion, perhaps triggered by organic matter like seaweed beneath the sand. Meanwhile, Danise, who also suffered a concussion and internal bleeding, is out of the hospital with plans to "get better as soon as possible and get back to work." She won't, however, return to Salty Brine State Beach. (These 10 beaches are great alternatives.)