An infrastructure housing the artillery and ammunition inside Camp Delgado erupted in flames before dawn yesterday, triggering a chain of explosions that damaged nearby buildings and burned one army official.
The fire broke out at the Explosive Ordinance Division (EOD) of the Army Support Command (ASCom) around 2:30 am, spreading to the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO 6) Engineering Division, Firearms and Explosives Unit, Security Agencies and Guards Unit, PRO-6 Band, and the Civil Security Group Satellite Office 6.Ā
The buildings were burned down completely.
All personal belongings in the areas were also destroyed together with office equipment and band instruments.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Captain Noel Frias, who slept at the EOD office, suffered second degree burns on sixty percent of his body. He was rushed to the Iloilo Doctor's Hospital (IDH).
PRO 6 Regional Director, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Jr. said that the personnel responded according to the camp's fire drill procedures however firefighters and policemen were unable to approach the fire due to explosions from live ammunition.Ā
Firetrucks from as far as Pavia arrived to assist.
At 4 a.m., the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) declared "fire out" and unexploded shells were retrieved from the scene.
Six hours after, smoke still rose from the scene and a BFP firetruck arrived to extensively clear the area.Ā
There is still no estimate of the amount of damages but Cruz said the value would be in millions.
The guns that were confiscated or handed over to the police for safekeeping were also ravaged by the fire and Cruz said they are still to survey what is to be done.
He also added that fortunately, the building which was built in the 1960s, was insured but he admits that PRO 6 has no emergency funds for events like the fire.
The explosions damaged nine other infrastructures: Regional Logistics and Research Development Division, Retirement and Benefits Administration Service, Communication Electronic System of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Regional Logistics and Research Development Division, Regional Police Community Relations Division, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Pre-School and Learning Center Motor Pool and Community Toilet in front of the PRO-6 Gym.
It also caused damages a total of seven vehicles including a truck.
Cruz said that glass panels and wood boards in the vehicles and buildings shattered from the "percussion" of the explosions.*