Explosions from fire in Army HQ in CDO cause panic

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 12 July) – An ammunition dump, or where the military stores live ammunition and explosives, of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Camp Evangelista, Barangay Patag here caught fire late Monday night, sending huge fireballs into the sky and exploded thousands of ammunition.

Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro City, headquarters of the Army’s 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division. Photo from Google Street View

Maj. Francisco Garello, 4ID spokesperson, said the “ammo dump” caught fire before midnight but gave no other details.
 
The exploding ammunition and fireballs were seen and heard throughout the city, prompting residents to make frantic calls to authorities.
 
A long line of ambulances and fire trucks and emergency responders can be seen outside the gate of Camp Evangelista.
 
Nick Jabagat, officer-in-charge of the Cagayan de Oro Disaster Risk Reduction Office, said they have deployed all available ambulances to Camp Evangelista but Army officials stopped them at the gates.
 
“We were told that it is still dangerous to go inside because of the exploding ammunition,” Jabagat said.
 
The ammo dump is the main repository of all ammunition, including mortars and artillery for the military units attached to the 4ID.
 
Jabagat said they are concerned on the safety of the residents of the communities living beside the ammo dump inside the camp.
 
“We have heard nothing from them so far and there is a total blackout inside the camp and adjoining areas,” he said. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)