In Cabuyao City, Laguna, the aftermath of a catastrophic explosion at a local firecracker factory on Thursday, February 1, has led to a confirmed death toll of four. This tragic incident, which occurred in Purok 3, Barangay Bigaa, initially resulted in two fatalities at the scene, with two more victims later succumbing to their injuries in the hospital. The explosion also left five individuals injured, including two minors.
Authorities, including Brigadier General Kenneth Lucas of the Philippine National Police-Calabarzon, identified the deceased as John Ronald Gonzales Deduro, Marvin Lamela Ocom, Ricardo Olic-Olic, and Bebot Reymundodia, with the latter two dying during hospital treatment. The explosion, which also sparked a significant fire, was reported to have taken place at the Aquino Lebrilla Fireworks factory and was declared extinguished by 5:47 p.m. the same day.
The Cabuyao City Police, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel John Antonio, is investigating the cause of the explosion, which is preliminarily attributed to mishandling of materials. This incident has raised concerns regarding safety protocols in the handling of chemicals necessary for fireworks production, highlighting the risks of chemical sensitivity and potential for ignition.
In response to the disaster, Cabuyao City Mayor Dennis Hain has called upon private hospitals and pharmacies to provide medical assistance to the victims, promising that the city government will cover the expenses. The severity of the injuries has prompted the mobilization of community support, including the use of schools in Bigaa as evacuation centers for those affected by the explosion, especially given the proximity of residential areas to the factory.
This tragic event underscores the dangers associated with the fireworks manufacturing industry and has led to a community-wide effort to support the victims and their families, while authorities continue to investigate the cause and potential safety violations at the site.