Negligence on the part of the unit owner, caretaker and tenant was responsible for the explosion at an upscale condominium in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City that killed four people last May 31.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Thursday reported the findings of an inter-agency task force and foreign experts that investigated the explosion in Unit 501-B of Two Serendra.
The hose of a gas range was accidentally detached during an unauthorized renovation of the unit, Roxas said in a press briefing in Camp Crame.
“They moved the gas range and the hose was detached and was not properly returned to its location, and the unit was not inspected after the renovation was completed,” Roxas said, explaining what happened with the help of a Powerpoint presentation.
Citing the findings of the task force, he said the LPG leaking from the hose was ignited when a light was switched on.
“Two Serendra may also be liable for allowing the unauthorized access of the gas valve and the management allowed the occupancy of the condominium right after the renovation even without inspection,” Roxas said.
Roxas said those liable may include the owners and caretakers of Unit 501-B, construction firm RM Ladrido, and Ayala firms Two Serendra, Inc., Bonifacio Gas Corp., and the Makati Development Corp.
He said there were no permits for the renovation of the unit and an unauthorized use of the gas valve. Two Serendra uses a centralized vapor state distribution system.
“All units actually have access to the gas valve. It was supposed to be locked. Witnesses said, however, that the valve can easily be opened,” Roxas added.
He said the Department of Interior and Local Government will submit the report to the Department of Justice (DOJ) which will find out if charges will be filed against individuals and companies involved.
Three of the victims died after a concrete slab from the unit fell on a delivery van. The fourth died several weeks later from injuries sustained.
ANTHONY VARGAS and RITCHIE A. HORARIO