SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan: THREE persons, including a one-year-old baby, died while 40 others were injured when a pressurized steel water tank carrying 2,000 cubic meters of water exploded and hit sleeping residents with “tsunami-like” force at dawn on Friday.
A radio report identified the fatalities as Jaina Espina, one-year-old; Jimmy Garcia, 61; and Elaine Tiongson, 22.
The injured were brought to the nearest hospitals.
Ronald Soriano, City Information Office chief, said that up to 20 houses were destroyed in the explosion that occurred in Barangay (village) Munzon about 3:30 a.m.
One of the residents interviewed on television described the sudden surge of water as “tsunami-like”. She said she and her family were unable to save their belongings.
Live videos of the incident showed several homes that were flattened as debris from the tank fell on roofs.
Soriano said the city government and the Bulacan Risk Reduction Management Office conducted rescue and retrieval operations.
Engineer Victor Canita, assistant general manager for operations of the San Jose Del Monte City Water District, said on television that the tank was built seven years ago.
Mayor Arthur Robles rushed to the scene and assured the victims of assistance. He said that charges would be filed if it would be proven that there was negligence.
Authorities are investigating the accident, Soriano said.