ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/28 January) – Four people, including two firemen and a three-year-old girl, were wounded in an explosion at a firecracker warehouse in this southern port city.
Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesperson, said fire immediately broke out after the first explosion around 3:30 p.m. Friday at the warehouse owned by Benjie Chiong along Nuñez Extension Road.
Raymond Gutierrez and Romeo Santos were among the firefighters from the Bureau of Fire Protection’s Zamboanga City Fire District who rushed to the scene of the incident.
The other two wounded victims were identified as Aileen Ang-os, and her three-year-old daughter Glyca Christine, who were near the warehouse at the time.
Firecrackers continued exploding inside the warehouse while the firemen were trying to contain the fire during which six more explosions followed – three at 4:12 p.m., one at 4:18 p.m. and two at 4:31 p.m.
The BFP firemen were later joined by the Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Brigade and fire fighters from Wesmincom and Edwin Andrews Air Base.
Aside from the firecracker warehouse, a warehouse containing tires and other hardware including flammable materials also burned along with 10 houses nearby.
Officials of the Ciudad Medical Zamboanga, a private hospital near the firecracker warehouse, have evacuated their patients to other hospitals in the city including the hospital at the air base.
Firefighters were still trying to contain the fire as of late afternoon Friday. (MindaNews)