Tuesday Jul, 16 2024 05:08:05 PM

Probe on destructive Zamboanga firecrackers, pyrotechnics disposal up

TIMRA Reports • 17:15 PM Tue Jul 9, 2024
John Felix Unson
Among the 30 people injured in Saturday's destructive firecrackers and pyrotechnics disposal in Zamboanga City are members of the Philippine Marines. (Ely Dumaboc/John Unson)

COTABATO CITY - The police and local executives are together investigating Monday’s disposal of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in Barangay Cabatangan in Zamboanga City that went wrong, causing a powerful explosion that hurt 30 individuals.

Among the victims are six members of the police’s Regional Explosives and Canine Unit, three personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard, five firemen under the Bureau of Fire Protection-9 and five servicemen of the Philippine Marine Corps.

Zamboanga City Mayor John Dalipe was quoted in radio reports here on Tuesday morning as saying that his office will extend essential support to all of the 30 people injured in the explosion, among them innocent villagers.

The incendiary merchandise subjected to the disposal process in a firing range of a Marine unit in Barangay Cabatangan that went awry was from a warehouse of a merchant, Jojit Chua, in Tetuan, Zamboanga City that got damaged by a series of explosions on June 29 that left five people dead and hurt 21 others.

Barangay officials in Cabatangan told reporters that the disposal team ignored their request not to dispose of in bulk, one time altogether, the firecrackers and pyrotechnics that they brought to the area.

Barangay Cabatangan, being a highland, is not suitable for such an operation, according to community leaders.

“Had they agreed to have the firecrackers and pyrotechnics set on fire little by little, there would have been no accident,” one of the barangay officials, who requested anonymity, said.

So powerful was Monday afternoon’s explosion in Barangay Cabatangan that it was heard as far as two to three barangays away and shattered glass doors and wall panels of big buildings several blocks away.

Dalipe said he had requested Brig. Gen. Bowenn Joey Masauding, director of the Police Regional Office-9, to determine if the disposal team involved in Monday’s firecrackers and pyrotechnics disposal mission is liable for the accident. 

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