1 killed, 21 hurt in Carmen blast

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/15 November) — A man was killed while 21 others were injured in a grenade explosion inside an amusement park in Carmen town in North Cotabato, close to 10 p.m. Monday, police said.

Killed was Joseph Tumeldin, who was playing cara y cruz when the blast happened.

Tumeldin was rushed to nearby Kabacan Medical Specialist Center in Kabacan town but died hours later due to multiple shrapnel wounds, reports said.

The injured, some of them children, were rushed to the North Cotabato Provincial Hospital here for treatment.

Injured were Jessie Miano, Delvert Gerodias, Felipe Repe, Rey Jack Sanoy, Renato Ortiz, Juan Panes, Cesar Ruba, Ereneo Pontongan, Norma Pontongan, Properio Asis, Tomas Ondoy, Ronald Aquino, Warlito Lorenzo, Baldo Balde, Hilario Rebunsa, Elwel Kho, Ibrahim Ismael, Kayog Zacaria, Wenna Miano, Jackielyn Tomeldin, and Jane Jawud.

Chief Inspector Jordain Maribojo, Carmen police chief, said the suspect lobbed the grenade at the men who were playing cara y cruz at the amusement park after he saw that his target was one of them. The supposed target was unscathed but his wife was injured.

Maribojo refused to identify the suspect as he downplayed the blast as an isolated case.

“Initial data showed the blast was more of a personal grudge.  It wasn’t meant to sow fear among residents in the area while the town was celebrating its foundation day,” he said.

The blast came hours after the town culminated its weeklong foundation day celebration.

Carmen, one of the oldest towns in North Cotabato, celebrated its 55th foundation day on Monday.

Last year, at the time the town was celebrating its founding day, an improvised explosive device went off inside a bus terminal killing a bystander and wounding several others.  The blast site was just a few meters away from the municipal gym where the culmination activity was ongoing.

Authorities at that time also downplayed the blast saying it was caused by land conflict and personal grudge. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)