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19 people injured in accidental blast in Philippines


Manila, July 9: At least 19 people, including soldiers, police, and firefighters, were injured after a massive pile of recovered firecrackers and pyrotechnics exploded near a marine camp in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines, the police said.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Helen Galvez, the regional police command spokesperson, said on Monday that the massive explosion, which occurred past 5 p.m. local time in a vacant lot, also damaged several vehicles issued to the military, police, and firefighters parked nearby. She added that the blast also caused minor damage to several residential houses and structures in the area, Xinhua news agency reported.

Among the injured men in uniform were six police officers, five marine soldiers, three coast guard personnel, and five fire fighters. They were taken to hospitals in the city.

The initial police investigation said that the blast occurred when the disposal team from the police and marine explosives disposal units were laying the recovered firecrackers and pyrotechnics retrieved from the warehouse that exploded on June 29. On June 29, a powerful explosion ripped through a firecracker warehouse in Zamboanga City, killing five people and wounding at least 20 others.

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