Latest Stories

40 hospitalized due to gas leaks in North Cotabato–officials

By ,

KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato  — At least 40 persons were rushed to hospitals here and in the municipality of President Roxas, also in North Cotabato,  following separate incidents of gas leaks, officials reported belatedly on Tuesday.

Among the people hospitalized were nine employees of the Mindanao Geothermal Project (MGP) here who were rushed on Sunday to a hospital after inhaling toxic gas emitted by a pipe being tested, Alejandro Catacutan, assistant vice president of the Energy Development Corp. said Tuesday.

Catacutan said a group of workers was opening a valve that regulated the flow of steam moving a geothermal wheel on Sunday when a large volume of hydrogen sulfide exploded.

“Some of them managed to run away from the wheel when they noticed a gas detector flashing an alarm, which indicated that there was gas in the geothermal wheel,” Catacutan said, adding that nine of the workers were not able to immediately get out of the area.  They were starved for air and experienced nausea and vomiting, he added.

“They were immediately evacuated to the Kidapawan City Medical Specialist Center and are all out of danger but seven of them had to stay longer in the hospital to determine if they had suffered any complication because they were closest to the leak,” Catacutan said.

Hydrogen sulfide, which occurs in volcanic gases and in sewers, among other sources, is a highly poisonous colorless gas, which is heavier than air and is characterized by the odor of rotten eggs. It is also flammable and can even explode when it comes in contact with fire.

Catacutan said the pipe being tested for capacity had been installed during the early days of the Philippine National Oil Co.’s geothermal exploration on Mt. Apo in the 1990s.

“The last time it was opened was in 2004,” he said.

As a result of the accident, Catacutan said, a meeting with MGP’s department heads had been set to find out how the leak happened.

Catacutan said EDC also wanted to find out how the workers got poisoned when they were supposed to be equipped with with self-contained air breathing apparati.

In President Roxas town, at least two dozen people also landed in hospitals following a chlorine gas leak in a nearby water reservoir late last week, a government official said Tuesday.

Mario Calayco, chairman of President Roxas’ Barangay (village) Poblacion, said among those who experienced nausea, shortness of breath and vomiting were children and the elderly.

The residents lived a few meters away from the water reservoir operated by the local water utility, which is run by the local municipal government, Calayco said.

Dr. Dominic Laus, President Roxas health chief, said most of the victims had gone home.

“The chlorine leak damaged some trees, rubber seedlings and even grasses within the periphery of the said water reservoir,” Laus said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: environment , Gas Leak , Health , hospital , North Cotabato , North Cotabato gas leak

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Sports

  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • Marketplace