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June 24, 2014

LPG blast death toll should push Congress to OK safety bill - solon

News Release
Office of LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty, House Deputy Minority Leader
Room 607 South Wing, House of Representatives, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Tel No. 931-5144


June 17, 2014

LPG blast death toll should push Congress to OK safety bill - solon
Massive industrial explosion in Bantay, Ilocos Sur kills 3 workers

 

       The death of three of the five victims of a massive liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage tank explosion in Ilocos Sur should serve as a wake-up call for Congress, House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty said.

       “If we are to avoid the loss of more lives as a result of preventable LPG-related disasters, Congress should now pass new legislation meant to build up compliance with and enforcement of highly improved safety standards,” Ty said.

       “Both the House and the Senate should not wait for more catastrophic LPG blasts in industrial, commercial and residential settings. Otherwise, we will have blood on our hands,” Ty warned.

       Ty was referring to House Bill 756, which mandates comprehensive and rigorous standards meant to ensure the safe storage, refilling, distribution, transportation and consumption of LPG.

       “The holdup in the passage of the bill has put public safety at grave risk, including the security of whole neighborhoods where illegal LPG refillers have multiplied,” Ty said.

       Ty was reacting to the deadly explosion at an illegal LPG refilling station Barangay Paing, in the Municipality of Bantay, Ilocos Sur.

       Three of the five victims of the June 6 blast eventually succumbed to serious burn injuries while in the hospital.

       Police identified the fatalities as Renato Paet of Bantay; Moises Gadut of Vigan City; and Cesar Espiritu of San Fabian, Pangasinan, Ty said.

       The two other casualties -- Reden Alporo and Pablo Bermudez -- are still in the hospital, but have since been declared out of danger, he said.

       The victims were all employees of the refilling station that did not have the mandatory license to operate and standard compliance certificate from the Department of Energy. The facility also lacked other basic approvals, including a permit from the Bureau of Fire Protection, according to the municipal government.

       Using a crane, the victims were trying to transfer a loaded LPG storage tank for repairs when the lifting machine accidentally dropped the pressurized container, the police said.

       “Under the stringent safety standards of HB 756, only fully trained and accredited technicians and servicemen may lawfully perform any LPG-related repairs,” Ty pointed out.

       The Bantay, Ilocus Sur tragedy was the deadliest LPG disaster since the May 31, 2013 explosion at Two Serendra in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, which killed three people and seriously injured a tenant.

       It also came about only a few days after an LPG household cylinder flare-up at the Parola Compound in Tondo, Manila injured 42 persons. The June 2 blast also set off a blaze that swept through a row of homes.

       The Ilocos Sur industrial accident was also the second in recent months involving an illicit cooking fuel refilling post. A truck loaded with LPG cylinders exploded inside a shifty refilling station in Barangay Tejero, General Trias, Cavite last year.

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