Most of the victims were workers going out of Philbest Canning Corporation, some 12 kilometers away from city hall.
City police director Senior Supt. Robert Po said they are still gathering pieces of evidence from the blast scene and could not yet determine the kind of explosive device used in the blast.
He said they do not have any suspect yet.
“These are the immediate things we will go through when our investigators finish gathering evidences,” Po said.
The powerful blast tore the canopy of the catwalk adjacent to the wall of the tuna company where workers were rushing out from work.
Philbest Canning Corporation is owned by the RD Group, the city’s biggest tuna producer and manufacturer.
There was no immediate statement from company officials.
General Santos City mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. expressed his “highest degree of condemnation to this barbarous attack.”
“The city will not sleep on it,” he said after attending the induction of officers of the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said he already ordered the local police and the military-headed Joint Task Force Gensan (JTFG) to go after the perpetrators.
Wednesday night’s explosion came almost a year after an improvised explosive device went off at a lotto outlet near the public market, killing six persons.
Dr. Bing Aquino, who attended to the blast victims brought to the St. Elizabeth Hospital, said most of the injured suffered shrapnel wounds.
One fatality, whose identity remained unknown as of 9 p.m. Wednesday, was hit by a shrapnel that penetrated his heart. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
Ten other victims were brought to the hospital for treatment.
Five more were brought to the General Santos City Doctors Hospital and nine others to
the Mindanao Baptist Church where a certain Cheley Causapin was also pronounced dead on arrival. The unidentified child was killed on the spot. (Edwin G. Espejo/MindaNews contributor)