Friday, May 31, 2013

3 dead as explosion of unknown origin rocks Serendra

From the Manila Bulletin (May 31): 3 dead as explosion of unknown origin rocks Serendra

Photo shows Unit 501 located in Two Serendra in Bonifacio Global City where the explosion on Friday originated. The blast sent chunks of concrete nearby, which landed on an Abenson delivery van killing all three inside. (Photo by Mark Balmores)

An explosion of unknown origin rocked Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Friday night.

Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte, chief of the Southern Police District (SPD), said that based on initial investigation, an explosion rocked Unit 501 Two Serendra, Bonifacio Global City (BGC) at 8:15 p.m.

Initial reports said at least three people were killed in the incident but this is still yet to be confirmed by members of the Taguig City Police Station, under Senior Supt. Arturo Asis said Police Supt. Alex Fulgar, of the Southern Police District (SPD) Public Information Office (PIO).

According to a report of Nimfa Ravelo on DZBB, the fatalities were caused when a slab of concrete was hurled from the explosion of Serendra Two building onto a delivery van, crushing the occupants inside. Chunks of concrete were also hurled towards nearby vehicles, damaging them.

Authorities said all three people aboard the delivery van died on the spot. Their bodies were being extricated as of press time. 4 people were injured, and were immediately taken to St. Luke's Taguig for treatment. 

Fulgar added the strong explosion shattered windows of nearby stalls and shops around area.

The explosion, according to reports, also caused panic among shoppers and motorists near the area.

Two Serendra is right beside shopping mall Market, Market, which also owned by the Ayala's.

The incident occurred when most establishments in the area, especially restaurants, were packed with customers.

Fulgar said members of the Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD) and Crime Laboratory of the both the Taguig City Police Station and Eastern Police District (EPD), are still in the area conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the explosion.

Villacorte said as of press time, police investigators are determing the cause of the explosion.
"Inaalam pa namin ang cause ng explosion. Magco-conference kami ngayon [We are still investigating the cause of the explosion. We will conduct a conference now]," Villacorte told Manila Bulletin in an interview.
Rescue Units from Taguig and members of the Taguig City Fire Station, were also in the area.

Meanwhile, Taguig City Administrator Atty. Joel Montales, said that despite the sketchy information they are receiving, "the local city government is on top of the situation".
He added that the Taguig City Police, Taguig Bureau of Fire Protection, and Taguig Rescue are still in the area to help determine the cause of the incidence and names of the casualties.
He added that they have set-up a rescue and medical center in the vicinity.
"We confirm there's an explosion. We're still in the process of getting all the information and determing the cause," Montales.
As of press time, tenants and homeowners were evacuated to safer grounds.

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas has asked the public to stay away from the site. On his official Twitter account, he tweets 'Re serendra explosion. Pls temporarily stay away,
don't add to burden of rescue and peace n order efforts.' He further asks people to stop speculating on the the cause of the explosion, tweeting 're explosion.Pls dont speculate as to source and nature. Police eod & soco doing its investigation & we will issue findings once established.'

ABS CBN reports that President Aquino has arrived at the area. DILG Secretary Mar Roxas has also arrived in the area, and is touring the site with President Aquino. 
Ayala Land has issued a statement on the explosion:

At around 8pm today, an explosion occurred at unit 501 of building B at Two Serendra, in Bonifacio Global City. Ten units on the floor were damaged. Four residents were injured and taken to the St. Luke's Medical Center. Three persons on board a delivery van passing through McKinley Parkway were killed by debris that fell on the van.

The building has been evacuated and the residents are being taken care of and provided with lodging while the incident is being investigated.
The Taguig police and the Bureau of Fire Protection are on site to conduct the investigation. We are fully cooperating with the authorities as they try to determine the cause of the explosion.  A large area in front of Two Serendra has been cordoned off for the safety of residents and bystanders.
Photo shows the Abenson delivery van that was crushed by chunks concrete from the explosion that occurred in Unit 501 Two Serendra, Bonifacio Global City on Friday evening, killing all three people inside. The fatalities are not yet known as of press time. (Photo by Mark Balmores)

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