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8 hurt in Bulacan fireworks factory blast

CAMP GENERAL ALEJO S. SANTOS – At least eight people were injured on Thursday following an explosion in a fireworks factory in Manggahan, Pulong Buhangin, Sta. Maria town in Bulacan.

A report by the Sta. Maria Municipal Police Station to Bulacan Police Provincial Office Director Col. Relly B. Arnedo identified the victims as Monrenzo Victoria and Marissa Victoria, operators of the fireworks manufacturing site; Jessie Cruz; Lourdes Policarpio;  Teofila Horfilla, Mary Ann Horfilla, Amanda Vicente, all fireworks employees; and Christine Amper.

The Victorias, Cruz and Policarpio were taken to the Rogaciano Mercado Hospital while the Horfillas, Vicente and Amper were treated at a local health clinic.

Police said Monrezo was seriously hurt.

BFP-Region 3 public information officer Fire Captain Arvin Catipon said based on initial investigation, a spark from a drill started the fire, which eventually resulted in explosions.

“Sa initial investigation natin ay isa sa trabahador ay nagbabarena sa area at nag-cause ng spark, tapos nataranta ata siya kaya naitapon mismo ang drill doon kung nasaan nakalagay ‘yung mga paputok,” he said.

Some houses in the nearby area were affected by the blast.

It was learned that the pyrotechnics factory was operating illegally or without a necessary permit.

A week prior to the explosion, Arnedo initiated a dialogue with the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association of Bulacan to remind them of the importance of safety in the manufacture, distribution, sale, and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

The official said appropriate criminal complaints are being readied for filing in court against the owner and manufacturer of the said factory.

RUINED. The factory in Bulacan that turned into ashes following an explosion due to fireworks in Sta. Maria, Bulacan. PHOTO BY BERNARD GALANG