BULACAN Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., said investigators ruled out the use of an improvised explosive device (IED) in the collapse of the tank the San Jose del Monte City (SJDMC) water district operates in Barangay Muzon where four people, including two one-year-old girls, were killed and 44 injured on Friday.
SJDMC police chief, Supt. Fitz Macariola said a team from the Philippine Army’s 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) platoon led by T/Sgt. Cornelio Calagate Jr., conducted a post blast investigation and found no IED in the area.
They noted that the 14 x 13 meter-high water tank that is steel-bolted to the ground, showed wear and tear on the metal starting at the knot hole, thus eliminating the possibility that an explosive device caused its collapse.
Mayor Arthur Robes, who formed a task force to investigate the accident, said the findings of the Army EOD team is a big help in determining whether the steel water tank collapsed over engineering defects or because it is old.
The fatalities were identified as Jimmy Garcia, 50, Elaine Chamson, 22, Jaina Espina and Nina Ape, both one-year-old.
The water tank, with a 2,000 cubic meter capacity, collapsed at about 3:30 a.m. on Friday sending forth a big burst of water like a tidal wave that swept away houses and a police detachment, according to witnesses.
Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado ordered the Provincial Risk Reduction Management Disaster Office to inspect all the tanks of water districts the province’s water districts to ensure their structural integrity and safety.
“This is an eye opener. Public safety is our topmost concern and it is mandatory for all water district officials to inspect their tanks especially the old ones,” Alvarado said.
General Manger Loreto Limcolioc heads the SJDM Water District which operates the tank.