Negligence by the owner and employees of Gina Gonzales Fireworks led to an explosion that killed two persons and injured at least 24 more last Wednesday morning along Manila North Road Highway in Barangay Binang 1st in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Celso Cruz, a chemical engineer and chairman emeritus of Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc., on Sunday said their conclusion was based on results of an investigation of the incident by the Bulacan police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the municipality of Bocaue.
Cruz said the probe showed that the explosion was caused by a “devil chemical,” which, according to an employee who survived the blast, was kept inside the store.
The “devil chemical,” which will not explode if it is not mixed with other chemicals, is ausually used to make firecrackers even more powerful.
“[It could be possible that many chemicals were put in one place, agitating each other and eventually causing the explosion],” Cruz said.
The blast claimed the lives of Gina Gonzales, 48, owner of the fireworks store, and certain Manuel Ayala, 65.
The results of the investigation have been submitted to the Philippine National Police’s Firearms and Explosives Office.
Mayor Joni Villanueva last Friday ordered all fireworks stores in Bocaue shut down to give way to inspection of more than 100 fireworks stores and seven manufacturers to make sure that they are strictly complying with Republic Act 7183, which governs the fireworks industry in the country.