Thorough probe ordered in Zamboanga explosion


Zamboanga City map.
Zamboanga City map. (SunStar photo)

THE Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula has directed to conduct a thorough investigation into the explosion on Monday, July 8, that injured 19 uniformed personnel in Zamboanga City.

The Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) said the explosion happened around 5:35 p.m. at the old firing range of the Philippine Marines at Zone 2 in Cabatangan village, Zamboanga City.

Police Colonel Kimberly Molitas, ZCPO acting director, said Tuesday, July 9, the explosion happened during a joint operation conducted by the Regional Explosive and Canine Unit (Recu)-Zamboanga Peninsula, in collaboration with the members of the Philippine Marines (PM), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

Molitas said the purpose of the operation was to dispose of confiscated firecracker seized during an explosion on June 29 on Marquez Drive, Tetuan village, Zamboanga City.

“Regrettably, the disposal process resulted in an explosion that injured 19 uniformed personnel,” Molitas said in a statement Tuesday, July 9.

She said six of the 19 injured are members of the Recu-Zamboanga Peninsula, three members of the PCG, five personnel of the BFP, and five PM personnel.

The explosion also damaged three vehicles—one of the police, one of the PM and a fire truck.

“The investigating team is currently evaluating the total extent of the damages,” Molitas said.

However, local authorities remained silent as to who ordered the disposal of the confiscated firecrackers in Cabatangan village, Zamboanga City.

Molitas said after the June 29 explosion that the drenched and confiscated firecrackers will be transported to Muti village, 58 kilometers east of City Hall.

Cabatangan is 6.62 kilometers north of City Hall.

Meanwhile, Councilor Charlie Mariano said over the local radio on Tuesday, July 9, that he will push to repeal the ordinance allowing the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in Zamboanga City.

In December of 2022, the city council allowed organizations to use fireworks and pyrotechnics on a limited scale during occasions but prohibited individuals from using pyrotechnics, particularly during Christmas and New Year’s Eve revelries.

The use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics was banned in Zamboanga City after the 2013 Zamboanga siege. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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