‘Mysterious explosion’ in Palawan skies: Wescom officials still in the dark
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY –The Western Command (Wescom) on Monday said it still had no idea what could have caused the reported “explosion” that lit up the skies over the towns of Bataraza and Rizal, both in Palawan province, on Saturday night (Jan. 7).
Capt. Reynaldo Aragones, the Wescom spokesperson, said joint operatives of the agency, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of the two towns have found no trace of the explosion from what residents there described as an “unidentified flying object.”
Citing the residents’ accounts, Aragones said the reported object exploded while up in the sky and also caused the ground to shake.
He said government troops were continuously scouring areas near the sighting of the object, including the sea.
Netizens expressed fears after seeing the bright lights and hearing the “extremely loud explosion” that followed shortly.
Others said it could be a space rocket from China, launched from Xichang, Sichuan province, on Dec. 29 last year.
After China’s announcement, the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) issued an advisory on the possibility of debris from the launch, including the rocket’s booster and payload fairing, falling within the West Philippine Sea, particularly near Recto Bank and Ayungin Shoal.
Bataraza Mayor Abraham Ibba also witnessed the flashing light but did not hear any explosion.
Meanwhile, PhilSA released a statement clarifying that the “phenomenon is highly unlikely to be related to the Long March 7A and the Long March 3B rockets.”
“The Long March 7A rocket was launched on Monday, 09 January, while the sighting and supposed explosion happened on the evening of 07 January,” the statement read.
It also explained that expected unburned debris from the Long March 3B rocket, launched into orbit on Dec. 29, had already fallen on the drop zone area near Palawan.
But on Monday, PhilSA clarified that the falling and glowing object in the sky could be a meteoroid. INQ
PhilSA clarifies: Falling, burning object seen in Palawan towns likely a meteoroid
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