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Portion of Skyway Stage 3 collapses in Pandacan blaze

Rey Galupo - The Philippine Star
Portion of Skyway Stage 3 collapses in Pandacan blaze
Smoke billows from a burning warehouse which caused a portion of the Skyway Stage 3 under construction to collapse yesterday in Pandacan, Manila.
Krizjohn Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Fire razed a warehouse of a San Miguel Corp. unit containing a huge stockpile of highly combustible packaging materials, causing a portion of the nearly finished skyway under construction nearby to collapse yesterday in Pandacan, Manila.

The fire, which began at around 10:30 a.m. and raged for almost four hours, destroyed a warehouse of the San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corp. on Tomas Claudio street that used to be part of the Pandacan oil depot. No one was reported hurt in the blaze, which was declared under control before 2 p.m.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Thick smoke billowed up into sky and blanketed nearby environs, including the railroad tracks of the Philippine National Railways (PNR), prompting the latter to suspend operations at some stations.

The Manila Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the alarm reached Task Force Bravo, meaning fire units in the entire Metro Manila were involved.   

The Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said a portion of the Zamora Bridge was also affected, causing massive traffic jam along Legarda street in Sampaloc up to Sergio Osmeña Highway.

PNR general manager Jun Magno said that while the tracks were not affected, they had to suspend operations at some stations due to thick smoke and to allow firefighters unhampered operations.

Manila Police District-Station 10 commander Lt. Col. Igmedio Bernaldez said security was tightened around the area to allow the smooth entry and exit of fire trucks.

PNR spokesman Joseline Geronimo told The STAR that railroad tracks around three stations – San Andres, Paco and Pandacan – were not passable during the fire.

The train continued to operate from the stations of Tutuban to Sta. Mesa and vice versa, Governor Pascual in Malabon to Sta. Mesa and vice versa and Alabang to Sta. Cruz and vice versa, Geronimo said.

Zero visibility from thick smoke also forced the suspension of service.

PNR’s Magno said the fire would have “no long term impact” on operations.

“We (just waited) for the smoke and fumes to clear. The fire trucks of the Bureau of Fire Protection cleared the area at about 3:06 in the afternoon,” Magno said.

Geronimo stressed the fire caused no structural damage to the tracks.

The Manila Fire Department said fire damage was estimated at P15 million.

The collapse of part of the Skyway Stage 3 is expected to further delay the network’s opening this year.

The road project aims to connect the North Luzon Expressway with the South Luzon Expressway. – With Ralph Villanueva

 

 

 

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