Ice plant must shoulder victims' hospitalization over ammonia leak — Navotas mayor

Ice plant must shoulder victims' hospitalization over ammonia leak â Navotas mayor
This February 2, 2021 photo shows the aftermath of the ammonia leak at T.P. Marcelo Ice Plant and Cold Storage in Navotas City.

MANILA, Philippines — The ice plant owned by the family of Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco’s mother will shoulder the cost of burial and hospital treatment of the people who inhaled ammonia, a corrosive chemical, that leaked from the facility, the local executive said Thursday.

The ammonia leak at the T.P. Marcelo Ice Plant and Cold Storage left two people dead and dozens hospitalized. 

“I have ordered the Navotas City government and Navotas City Hospital to make accounting of all expenses. Normally, we don’t do that. Even if a private company caused a damage, that is shouldered by the city government. But in this case, I won’t allow the city government to spend a single centavo,” Tiangco said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart Thursday.

“All the expenses spent by the city government must be paid by the company out of delicadeza because [owners of the ice plant] are my relatives,” he added.

The mayor also said he “will make sure” that owners of the ice plant will give assistance to victims.

Fifty-two residents were brought to Navotas City Hospital, while 24 were brought to Tondo Medical Center. Twenty residents remain under observation at the Philippine General Hospital.


Tiangco said authorities have yet to determine the cause of the incident but he stressed that it was an “accident.”

“What we have to determine whether there was a leak or the tank exploded. I have to get that report from the Bureau of Fire Protection,” the mayor said.

“If there are any national government agencies who want to investigate, I welcome you and I encourage you to be the one to investigate so it will be impartial,” he also said.

A closure order of the plant was issued after the incident. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ammonia can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, mouth and digestive tract.

Exposure to higher concentrations of the said chemical could also lead to more harmful effects, such as burns to the skin, throat or lungs, which can be serious enough to cause permanent blindness, lung disease or death. — Gaea Katreena Cabico




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