Friday, August 9, 2013

Fireworks blasts spark panic in Zamboanga City - Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY - A series of powerful explosions rocked this port city when a pyrotechnic shop storage accidentally exploded Friday night, sparking panic among the residents.

No one was reported hurt from the blasts which subsequently triggered a huge fire that engulfed the two-storey building that housed the pyrotechnics shop, a flower shop, a feeds store and a bakeshop along the Maria Clara Lobregat Highway in Barangay Guiwan at about 9 p.m.

A jeep parked in front of the pyrotechnics shop was also destroyed by the explosion and fire.

The explosions were so powerful that it twisted all the metal trashes, supporting beams and tore the back walls of the building owned by Mary Omar.

The local fire bureau said the blaze also gutted a two-storey residential house adjacent to where the blast site started.

The blasts also shattered glass walls and ripped ceilings of banks and business shops located within 50 to 80 meters and were heard as far as four kilometers away.

Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

City Police director Senior Superintendent Jose Chiquito Malayo immediately allayed fears that the blast was a terror attack. He said police explosives experts did not find any trace of bomb components in the site.

Fire and police investigators said the explosions came from the building's second floor, where there were stocks of pyrotechnics devices owned by the CT Pyrotechnics.

Chief Inspector Elmer Acuña, police station commander 6, said witnesses initially heard bits of firecracker sounds followed by the blaze before they heard the series of powerful explosions.

Acuña said the family Daisy Bangayan-Aquino, owner of the pyrotechnics store and flower shop, thought at first the businesswoman was in the building when the explosions took place.

While the firemen were looking for Aquino inside the gutted building, a witness told authorities that he saw Aquino rushing out of the building before the explosions took place.

Aquino remains unaccounted for.
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