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Blast triggers quarry probe in Batangas

05:18 AM March 20, 2019
Blast triggers quarry probe in Batangas

BLAST SITEInvestigators say the house destroyed by an explosion in Sto. Tomas town, Batangas province, on Monday was a production site for blasting caps supplied to illegal quarrying operators. EDWIN BACASMAS

The municipal government of Sto. Tomas in Batangas province has started verifying reports of illegal quarrying in the town, after a blast at a suspected manufacturing site of explosives killed a couple on Monday.

Investigators raised the issue of quarrying after police found improvised blasting caps and coils of wire in the home of Joy Sorima and Jerwin Salazar that blew up in Barangay San Roque.

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Senior Supt. Edwin Quilates, Batangas police director, ruled out a possible terror link, saying the type of improvised bombs were likely used for quarrying.

“[Terror attack] is unlikely [because] you wouldn’t actually need that much, a thousand, improvised blasting caps. They’re likely for quarrying,” Quilates said in a telephone interview.

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The blast killed the couple and injured their 5-year-old son, Jorel, who had just returned from school at the time. The couple’s three other children were in school during the explosion.

“We’ll look into this [quarrying] in light of the explosion,” said Gerry Laresma, municipal information officer.

They were also digging deeper into the identities of the couple, who Quilates said had made a living out of manufacturing explosives in their house at Madison Garden Subdivision.

The couple allegedly used “ukay-ukay,” or selling used clothing, as a front for the illegal activity. —Maricar Cinco

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TAGS: Batangas blast, illegal quarrying, Jerwin Salazar, Joy Sorima
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