Lanao Norte NGCP tower bombed: Blackouts hit parts of Mindanao

Roel Pareño, Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A bomb explosion toppled the tower of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte on Monday afternoon, resulting in power outages in parts of Mindanao.

An unidentified person, believed to be a suspect, was found dead at the scene by security personnel who conducted clearing operations, according to Col. Richard Verceles, Area Police Command-Western Mindanao operations chief.

Police and military authorities said Tower 8 of the NGCP in Sitio San Isidro in Barangay Bagombayan was bombed at around 4:50 p.m.

Beth Ladaga, NGCP public afairs head for Western Mindanao, said the Baloi-Aurora 138-kiloVolt transmission line tripped due to the incident, prompting the power grid to implement manual load dropping to prevent overloading of the remaining line.

Zamboanga del Norte, including the cities of Dipolog and Dapitan; Zamboanga del Sur, including Pagadian and Zamboanga cities; Zamboanga Sibugay as well as Misamis Occidental and parts of Lanao del Norte were affected by power interruptions.

Ladaga said the NGCP coordinated with the police and military to secure the area while repair works are being conducted.

The NGCP said power restoration is estimated to take two to three days once the area is secured.

Initial investigation showed an improvised explosive device was used to bomb the steel pylon.

The NGCP reiterated its warning that suspicious activities within or along the transmission corridor, which may disrupt the supply of power, is punishable by law.

Violators face a fine of up to P200,000 and a maximum prison term of 12 years or both.

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