Friday, October 31, 2008

Army ammo depot explodes in Mindanao

AFP Chief-of-Staff General Alexander Yano and Eastern Mindanao Command chief Armando Cunanan inspect burnt bullet shells on Friday, Oct. 31, 2008 after an army ammunition depot explodes inside the 6th Infantry Division headquarters in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner Photo / Mark Navales)

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 31, 2008) – A Philippine military ammunition dump exploded Friday in Mindanao, security officials said.

Officials said there were no reports of injuries or casualties from the explosion inside the headquarters of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in Maguindanao province, where security forces are battling Moro Islamic Liberation front rebels.

“This is accidental and apparently it was caused by a leak of white phosphorous from defective munitions. There were no reports of injuries or casualties,” Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, an army spokesman, told the Mindanao Examiner.

The explosion sparked a fire that totally destroyed the ammunition building.

Ando said the ammunition dump is located between two hills which served as blast barriers and buffer zone. “The defective munitions, including unserviceable mortar rounds, had been exposed to the elements and this is could be the cause of the leak of the chemicals that triggered the explosion,” he said.

General Alexander Yano, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, also inspected the destroyed ammunition dump. The AFP ruled out sabotage or rebel attacks as the cause of the blast, but it has ordered an investigation into the incident.

White phosphorus can cause injuries and death in three ways - by burning deep into soft tissue, by being inhaled as a smoke and by being ingested. It is insoluble in water and alcohol and self-igniting in air. Extensive exposure to the chemical in any way can be fatal. (With a report from Mark Navales)

1 comment:

Annamalai said...

The effects of an ammunition depot blast is a serious one. I have been trying to highlight the same dangers to the Malaysian Government where the biggest ammunition depot is located in the middle of the city (Sungai Petani Kedah, Malaysia) beside thousands of homes and several schools. it is a disaster waiting to happen. I have openly engaged the Malaysian Government regards this danger - Other ammo depots that have exploded throughout the world has also killed thousands of people. Please view at - (The Malaysian government still continues to ignore the problem). Perhaps they will only listen when the ammunition depot explodes in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaysia.