SIX persons, including three minors, suffered burns after a firecracker manufacturing area exploded in Barangay Babag, Lapu-Lapu City, on Wednesday afternoon, November 23.
The Lapu-Lapu Police Station (LSP) 3 got a report that firecrackers exploded in a satellite firecracker factory in Sitio Lawis, Purok Judas Belt injuring several persons at 3:30 p.m.
In a report from the LPS 3, Jonathan Latorre, 36, said that he was compressing the black powder as reagent of “bawang” firecrackers in his satellite firecracker factory, which is located a few meters away from his house, when it accidentally sparked and spread to the other firecrackers.
The finished firecrackers eventually exploded which caused fire and destroyed the satellite factory.
Latorre’s 33-year-old wife, Argentina, and his 8-year-old daughter, Marcia, suffered severe burns..
Andrew Laurel, 14; Isa Jane Andal, 14; and Angelou Casul, 18, who were near the area at that time were also injured.
PO2 Raul Ruiz Jr., investigator of LPS 3, said the victims were brought to Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital, but was eventually transferred to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.
Ruiz said Marcia was beside her mother at the time of the incident.
Senior Supt. Rommel Cabagnot, director of Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, said the firecracker factory did not have documents, had no “no smoking” signs and had no pail of water that could have been used to put out the fire.
LCPO, in cooperation with the other concerned agencies, vows to strengthen their efforts in running after people who illegally manufacture firecrackers.
“Let’s be safe. Let’s follow the law in making firecrackers),” said Cabagnot.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7 ordered the Lapu-Lapu City Fire Station to investigate the fire.
“I directed the Lapu-Lapu City Fire Station to conduct a thorough investigation on the real cause of the explosion. Do they have a permit to manufacture fireworks?” Senior Supt. Samuel Tadeo, regional director of the BFP 7, said.
Following the incident, all fire stations in cities, provinces and municipalities in Central Visayas were ordered to conduct surprise inspections in firework factories in their areas and to coordinate with the local government units.
The Police Regional Office will also check if the law designates firework production areas. (FMG, JOB)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 23, 2017.
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