AT least 21 employees of a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) refilling station were seriously wounded in an explosion that razed a gasoline station and a furniture shop early yesterday morning in Pasig City.
Pasig City Fire Marshal Supt.Arturo Marcos identified the victims as Efipano Ausa, 50; Adonis Munoz, 22; Jayro Soriano, 22; Jectopher Cawili, 21; Romeo Eugenio, 28 ; Camilo Alcaraz Jr., 18; Alejandro Conrad, 42; Raymundo Saturnino, 20; Jayson Dagaw, 25; Philip Villota, 28; Domingo Guira, 29; Jeffrey Eugenio, 35; Raymart Eda, 22; Joel Eda, 28; Ramil Reden, 21; Arvin Bautista, 20; Jeter Brillantes, 25; Noriel Salamio, 22; Bryan Ludrico, 20; William Khey, 30; and Genie Cognito, 39. Most of the victims suffered second to third degree burns.
Pasig Fire Investigation chief Senior Insp. Anthony Arroyo said the explosion occurred at the Regasco LPG refilling station of Omni Gas Corporation located at A. Sandoval Ave., in Brgy. San Miguel, at around 1:08 a.m. The explosion also razed the nearby Flying V gasoline station and FCS Furniture and Garment store.
Report said the Omni Gas Corporation is partly owned by LPGMA Party-list Rep. Arnel Ty. It was a storage facility and also refilling tanks for cooking LPG.
Prior to the explosion, Marvin Magandia, Manager of Flying V, said he was awaken by an unusual LPG odor fumes. Upon checking outside, he noticed a smoke coming from the warehouse of the Omni gas refilling station. Few minutes later, a loud explosion occurred followed by a fire.
The employees of the refilling station tried to contain the blaze but it quickly engulfed the area and spread to the adjacent gasoline station and furniture store.
Eda said he was earlier advised to fix some technical problems at the warehouse.
Arroyo said leak and the explosion were not immediately reported to the authorities as employees tried to douse the fire.
Arroyo said the BFP will investigate if there are violations committed by the Omni Gas Corporation like improper maintenance of the facility or products that triggered the explosion.
The BFP estimated the damage to property at P20 million.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael ‘Mike’ D. Sueno ordered the BFP to conduct a thorough probe on the explosion.
“I am truly saddened by the unfortunate incident. The BFP must do a scrupulous investigation on the cause of the fire and make them accountable for the injured victims and damaged property. Hindi puwede ang mga palusot dito because the safety of our people is at stake,” said Sueno.