DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A store selling liquefied petroleum gas tanks exploded on Tuesday night, wounding 13 victims, including a three-year old boy and four other minors. 

Based on police investigation, a loud explosion was heard at around 10:10 pm on Tuesday at the Petronas Gas Tank in Bangkal, Talomo district.

Police found the caretaker of the establishment and members of his family who all sustained third degree burns. The victims were identified as caretaker and the father, Christito Fuentes, his live-in partner April Joy Ormillo, 40, and their children: Christy Ormillo, 8; Crystal, 7; Kaisha, 4, Christito, 3 and their relative Leonor Calubio, 15. The victims were residents of Sitio Toril in Barangay Catalunan Grande.

A street vendor identified as Elsa Jabonero Digue, 51, also sustained 2nd degree burn. Meanwhile the other victims who were slightly injured were identified as Christian Camarillo, 27, Soliet Enriquez, 27, Shiela Lozada, 37, Christian Carlo Cilla, 23 and Irene Calanda, 24.

The victims were rushed to the nearby Davao Adventist Hospital and were later transferred to Southern Philippines Medical Center for treatment.

The Bureau of Fire Protection declared a fire out at about 11:30 pm.

In an interview with Davao Today, Senior Fire Officer 2 Ramil Gillado said they suspected that the explosion was caused by a leaking gas tank.

“We are looking at the possibility that there could have been a leaking in one of the gas tanks and since the space is enclosed, the fumes inside could have been triggered by an open flame,” Gillado said.

He said there could also be someone who turned on the light switch or any appliance, or lighted a cigarette or candle nearby which may have triggered the explosion.

Gillado said the family of the caretaker could have been staying at the store for a period of time since they found a small kitchen inside.

The BFP pegged the damage cost of the explosion at P1 million.

Gillado reminded the public that if they would suspect a leaking of their gas tank, they should avoid switching on the lights or any open flame.

“What you should do is just open the windows to let out the fumes and take the gas tank outside to disperse the fumes,” he said. (davaotoday.com)

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