At least 50 workers from the Philippines chemical industry were killed when a blast destroyed a factory in the country’s south.
A joint team of the Philippine Chemical Industry (PCI) and the International Association of Manufacturers (IAM) confirmed the deaths at a press conference in the southern city of Laguna on Tuesday.
“We have confirmed the death of five workers, among them two technicians, in a blast at the plant of the PCB Chemicals Corporation of the Philippines (PCPCP),” PCI Secretary General Antonio Galvez said in a statement.
The Philippine Chemical Industries and Industries Development Board (PCIB) said the blast occurred around 4:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday (local time), and that the cause was not immediately known.
The blast destroyed the plant’s main plant, which manufactures the chemical additive ammonium nitrate, the PCB Chemical Industries Association (PCIA) said.PCIB Secretary General Javier Pangilinan said that the blast also damaged nearby houses.
“All these people were from the chemical industry.
We have not yet confirmed the cause of the blast, but we have the victims and we will provide a statement soon,” Pangillinan added.
The explosion left around 50 people dead, including six workers from PCP, and injured another 20, according to PCI.
The victims were evacuated to hospitals, but there were no details on the exact nature of their injuries.PCI’s chief executive officer Raul Guzman said the workers died at the workplace, and the blast was “an act of terrorism.”
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they are investigating the incident, but did not provide further details.
The blast is still under investigation.
The PCB Chemical Industry Association said that it will hold a press briefing to discuss the accident.