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Fire hits Batangas fuel depot; 2 hurt

A fire that broke out on Saturday in Phoenix Petroterminal and Industrial Park in Calaca, Batangas continued to rage yesterday afternoon. BERNARDO BATUIGAS

MANILA, Philippines - Two employees were injured in a fire that broke out in Phoenix Petroterminal and Industrial Park in Calaca, Batangas on Saturday.

Mark Anthony Dochosa, 35, and Almer Nuevo, 23, were rushed to the Bayview Hospital in Balayan town for treatment.

Frederick Bragas of the Office of Civil Defense-Region 4A said the fire started at around 4 p.m. in one of the chemical storage tanks of the South Pacific Asia Inc. in Barangay Salong.

Firefighters from the nearby provinces of Cavite and Laguna rushed to the scene after the blaze reached general alarm.

The fire was still raging as of 1 p.m. yesterday.

At least 115 families residing around the depot in the villages of Salong and Ca-mastalisan were evacuated to four schools.

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“We have yet to confirm reports that a welding operation ignited the liquefied petroleum gas tanks,” Bragas said.

Witnesses told authorities they heard explosions before the fire broke out.

Calaca Mayor Boogie Ona declared the town under a state of emergency at around 6:30 p.m.

Ona said around 50 fire trucks arrived at the facility at around 1:44 a.m. yesterday to help contain the blaze.

Aside from the South Pacific Asia Inc., the Phoenix facility houses the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp., which supplies 135 megawatts of power to the Luzon Grid.

Authorities have yet to determine the amount of damage caused by the blaze.

Meanwhile, a two-year-old boy died while two others were injured in a fire that destroyed at least 40 houses in Batangas City yesterday.

Arjay Bajar Mendoza was asleep when the blaze broke out at around 2:40 a.m.

Authorities said the victim’s parents failed to rescue their son as the fire spread quickly.

Probers have yet to determine the cause of the blaze. – With Ed Amoroso

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