3 killed in Two Serendra explosion

Posted at 05/31/2013 11:03 PM | Updated as of 06/01/2013 9:05 AM

President Aquino visits blast scene

MANILA, Philippines (5th UPDATE) - Three people were killed in an explosion that hit a residential condominium unit at the Two Serendra building at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig Friday night, police said.
 
Four other people were injured in the blast, the city government said.
 
The fatalities were on board a van that was crushed by large chunks of concrete that fell from an upper floor condo unit and into vehicles below, an initial radio dzMM report said.
 
Skip dela Cruz, who witnessed and took video footage of the aftermath of the explosion, told ABS-CBNNews.com that a Starex van and an Abenson truck were crushed under the huge block of concrete.
 
The explosion occurred around 8 p.m, police said.
 
The loud blast triggered panic among mall-goers at nearby Market! Market!.
 
Windows of several establishments were also damaged by the blast. 
 
An eyewitness told ANC it may have come from the 5th floor.
 
"Habang nanonood ako ng TV may biglang sumabog. Nasa 6th floor ako, Unit 610B," eyewitness Rene Boy Curado said.
 
"Nakita ko 5th floor, wasak na wasak yung 5th floor, yung unit," he added.
 
"Nung sumabog siya pinatay ko yung TV ko tapos lumabas ako ng pintuan, paglabas ko ng pintuan, pumasok yung makapal na usok," he said.
 
"Biglaang lumabas yung mga residente dito, yung iba nagsisigawan, yung iba nanghihingi ng tulong kasi yung usok nga, makapal yung usok," Curado said.
 
Explosion at Unit 501
 
The blast ocurred in condo unit 501, Ayala Land said in a statement.
 
A source connected to the team handling the incident said the condominium unit where the blast originated was being used by a transient occupant.
 
He recounted  the owner of the unit allowed the yet-to-be-identified occupant to to use it from May 31 to June 9.
 
President Benigno Aquino and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas arrived at the scene hours after the explosion.
 
Roxas asked the public not to speculate on what caused explosion at Two Serendra in Taguig. " Hindi natin malaman kung aksidente ba ito. This could be an accident, an explosion from chemicals, this could be anything."
 
"Any speculation would be counterproductive. Walang makakapagsabi kung ano talaga ito," he reiterated. "Ang pinakamahalaga rito ay malaman natin kung bakit nangyari ito at magkaron ng measures para hindi maulit ito."
 
He said police are now investigating the explosion. "We will issue findings once established," he said.  "Directive ng Pangulo magcooperate lahat ng government agencies. He wants an unassailable, very clear rationale bakit nangyari ito."
 
He said the Two Serendra building was fully evacuated after the explosion.
 
Roxas also asked the public not to go to the explosion site. "Mananatiling crime scene ang area na ito."
 
Ayala Land said 10 units on the 5th floor of the building were damaged. 
 
"Four residents were injured and taken to the St. Luke's Medical Center. Three persons on board a delivery van passing through McKinley Parkway were killed by debris that fell on the van," the developer said.
 
"The building has been evacuated and the residents are being taken care of and provided with lodging while the incident is being investigated," it added.
 
"We are fully cooperating with the authorities as they try to determine the cause of the explosion.  A large area in front of Two Serendra has been cordoned off for the safety of residents and bystanders," Ayala Land said. 
 
In 2009, one person was killed after his car caught fire and exploded at the driveway of Fully Booked, Two Serendra. 
 
On January 30 this year, an explosion allegedly caused by a gas leak also rocked the Two Parkade building at Bonifacio Global City. - with reports from Pia Gutierrez and Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News; Zhander Cayabyab, dzMM; ANC