Death toll in Pasig LPG station explosion rises to 4
“I wish I hadn’t allowed him to go to Manila,” Jenny Alcaraz told the Inquirer on Sunday as she waited outside Funeraria Quiogue in Pasig City, where the body of her son, 18-year-old delivery boy Camilo, was being prepared for his wake in Isabela province.
Camilo was among those injured in an explosion at the Regasco liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) refilling station owned by Omni Gas Corp. on Sandoval Avenue, Pasig City.
The Jan. 11 blast traced to a gas leak left 21 people hurt, most of them stay-in workers. Four of the more seriously injured, Camilo included, have since died.
The second eldest among Alcaraz’s five kids, Camilo died at 1 a.m. Sunday at Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City. He had suffered 90 to 98 percent partial thickness burns on his legs, face, arms, chest and stomach.
Before he died, Camilo had reassured her at the hospital: “Ma, it’s OK. That’s life. Don’t worry. I will fight,” Alcaraz said as she immediately took a bus to Manila when she learned of the accident.
Days after, however, Camilo showed signs of giving up. “Ma, I’m tired,” he told her, his eyes rolling back in his head and his mouth foaming.
“The doctors said my son was fine. He was talking to me. Now I’m really torn on how to break the news to his father,” Alcaraz said.
Camilo was supposed to go home to his boarding house after his shift at the gas station ended on Jan. 11. However, he was asked to go on overtime hours before the explosion, she added.
“He went to Manila to work. He wanted to send his siblings to school,” Alcaraz told the Inquirer. “Sometimes, though, it was hard for him to send us money,” she said.
“He was still a child. He was the life of the party, especially during weddings. In the province, people paid him P150 to climb coconut trees. He was good at that. I miss him,” Jenny said in-between sobs.
Senior Insp. Anthony Arroyo, chief of the investigation unit of the city’s Bureau of Fire Protection, said several other victims remained in critical condition. They were Arvin Bautista, 20; Alejandro Conrad, 42; Domingo Guira, 29; and Raymart Eda, 22, who suffered 90 percent superficial partial thickness burns.
One of those injured, Epifanio Ausa, 50, a worker at a neighboring establishment who sustained a cut in the foot, also needs blood donations of type O plus. He is currently confined at Rizal Medical Center.
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