• Two Serendra unit owner to sue Ayala Land over blast

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    The owner of the unit in Two Serendra condominium at the Bonifacio Global City where a gas leak triggered an explosion will sue Ayala Land, Inc.

    Raymond Fortun, lawyer for the unit owner Marianne Cayton-Castillo, on Friday said Ayala Land officials should be the ones to be held liable for the explosion that caused the death of four persons.

    Fortun said they were still studying what criminal charges to file against Ayala Land, the owner of Two Serendra.

    “We will send a demand letter first. We will ask for the replacement of the (condominium) unit or its monetary equivalent,” Fortun said.

    He said they will also be asking for actual and moral damages from Ayala Land and its building developer, Makati Development Corp. (MDC) and the Bonifacio Gas Corp. (BGC), the supplier of liquefied petroleum gas to Two Serendra.

    Cayton, owner of Unit 501-B where the explosion happened, said she was disappointed that the findings of a government investigation pointed at her and the RM Ladrido construction services as being primarily responsible for the blast.

    Fortun refuted the findings of the investigation conducted by the Inter-Agency Task Force and foreign experts, calling it “reckless and a product of inept fact-finding.”

    Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Wednesday announced the findings of the Inter-Agency Task Force and foreign experts that conducted parallel investigation in the blast, which was caused by a gas leak.

     

    Roxas said negligence on the part of the building developer and LPG supplier led to the explosion. He said the gas line of the cooking range at Unit 501-B was repaired by a contractor.

    However, he said it remained off-normal, or the valve remained open even when the power was off, thus triggering the explosion.

    Gas accumulated in the unit exploded when the unit’s occupant at that time, Angelito San Juan, switched the light on.

    But Fortun said that moving a gas range by eight inches will not loosen of the gas hose.

    “The gas bills during the period or renovation also shows zero gas consumption: ergo, there was no leak caused by the minor movement of the gas range,” he said.

    According to Roxas, also facing possible charges are the owner and caretaker of Unit 501-B, officials of RM Larido Construction Services, which renovated the apartment, and Two Serendra Inc.

    Aside from San Juan, who vacationing from the US when he died, three employees of Abenson’s appliance store were killed in the explosion when a huge slab of concrete from Unit 501-B fell across the road below.

     

    RITCHIE A. HORARIO

     

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