3 dead as fire hits building storing stolen gasoline in CamSur townBy Juan Escandor Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
NAGA CITY—Three persons, including a pregnant woman, were killed when they were trapped in a fire that followed an explosion in a building in a Camarines Sur town that police said was illegally storing gasoline.
Police in Pasacao, Camarines Sur, said killed were Ramil Quijano, 33; Romelyn Tapar, 33, who was eight months pregnant; and Rolando Dominguez, 23.
PO1 Cherry del Rosario, Pasacao police desk officer, said the three were trapped when the building they were staying in was razed by fire following an explosion.
Del Rosario, quoting investigators, said an estimated 2,400 liters of gasoline in at least a dozen drums and several plastic containers were being illegally stored in the building.
The highly flammable stockpile is believed to have been the source of the explosion though police could not yet provide details about what triggered the blast.
The fire, Del Rosario said, lasted for at least an hour.
A search in the debris after the fire yielded 12 drums, each believed to contain 200 liters of gasoline, and the bodies of the three fatalities, said Del Rosario.
She said the explosion and fire happened past 6 p.m. in the village of Odicon in Pasacao.
A certain Armando Quijano owns the building. Police are now looking for him.
According to Del Rosario, investigators believe the gasoline had been stolen from gasoline tankers or lorries.
Syndicates involved in the theft of gasoline send out men to prey on tankers or lorries carrying petroleum products. The practice is called paihi in many areas where the syndicates operate.