Explosion victim named as Oscar Mascarinas
A popular guest worker from the Philippines who lost his life in an explosion at his Southampton home on Monday evening has been named by police as Oscar Mascarinas, 49.
A spokesman said his wife, 50, also a Filipino guest worker, remained in critical condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
The Filipino Association of Bermuda has identified her as Jove Mascarinas.
The blast, which police said might have been caused by a gas leak, tore through the Hilltop Court apartments at 8.50pm, destroyed the couple’s home.
Five people required hospital treatment, with much of the building block extensively damaged and part of the structure collapsed.
Mr Mascarinas was seriously injured and later pronounced dead at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
Mr Mascarinas was popular and longstanding member of staff at Aberfeldy Nurseries in Paget. He was a familiar sight at many Hamilton businesses, where he called regularly to water and maintain plants.
Aberfeldy clients remembered him as upbeat, friendly and highly knowledgable on the care and upkeep of plants.
Mr Mascarinas was a devoted parent who kept in frequent contact with his children back in the Philippines.
He was also active in the Radnor Road Christian Fellowship.
Last night a spokeswoman for the association told The Royal Gazette: “Oscar was a very friendly guy. He knew so many people because he always took the time to speak to people. He could also be very funny.
“But he was also a very active member of the Radnor Road Christian Fellowship - everyone called him ‘Pastor’.
“So he had two sides to his life. Since his death, the association has had a lot of calls from people who knew him. He had a very strong influence on people and his death is a tragedy. But people will remember him.”
In a tribute posted online, the association wrote: “Oscar was well-loved by the Filipino community and has made many friends during the course of his work with Aberfeldy.
“We would like to express our sincere condolences with the family and friends of Oscar and continue to pray for Jove as she fights for her life.”
The group announced it was partnering with Radnor Road Christian Fellowship’s Filipino Christian Fellowship to organise a fundraiser for the Mascarinas family.
Donations are being accepted through the association’s Butterfield bank account, number 20006060-258-204-100.
The association requested that any donations be tagged with “for Oscar”.
A woman whose relatives lost “everything they owned” in an explosion that demolished their home has organised a fundraiser on the GoFundMe website.
Chante Ford said her uncle and aunt Dane and Tonia Symons, along with her 82-year-old grandfather Stanley Thompson, had been left homeless and without even toiletries after the blast destroyed both their apartments.
She said the couple, who had lived at the Southampton apartments more than 30 years, had recently moved their older relative into a downstairs apartment.
Ms Ford added that the family was living without “food and funds to meet their daily needs”.
The group said details on funeral arrangements and a possible memorial gathering would be provided.
Police said that a BPS family liaison officer was providing ongoing support to both their families.
The accident remains under investigation and the public are urged to call police with any information at 247-1744 as soon as possible.
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