Police reported that no explosive devices were used in the collapse of the ground steel-bolted water tank of the San Jose del Monte City Water District early Friday morning in Carriedo Street, Barangay Muzon.
In a report to Bulacan Police Director, Sr. Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., city police chief Supt. Fitz Macariola said a team from the Philippine Army’s 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon led by Technical Sgt. Cornelio Calagate Jr., arrived at the site and conducted post blast investigation.
Macariola said the Army EOD team concluded that “there is no sign or indication of IED or improvised explosive device at the incident area”.
He added that most of the damages noted on the metal/material used were lacerated and mostly orginated from the knot hole thus ruling out the possibility of any use of explosive device.
He said the findings of the Army EOD team was a big help to the ongoing investigation being conducted by the task force formed by Mayor Arthur Robes.
Robes earlier said they were still verifying if the collapse was triggered by engineering defects or due to the age of the steel tank.
The incident happened at around 3:30 a.m. and resulted in the death of four people, including two one-year old babies, and injured 44 others.
Macariola identified the fatalities as Jimmy Garcia, 50; Jaina Espina, 1 year old and Elaine Chamson, 22, and Nina Ape, 1, all residents of Barangay Muzon.
A large volume of water burst and swept through residential and a nearby police detatchment like a tsunami, according to witnesses.
Rescuers brought the injured to the different hospitals in the city where they are still undergoing treatment while the fatalities were recovered under debris, police investigators said.
The 14 by 13-meter water tank has a 2,000 cubic meter capacity.
Water gushing from the collapsed tank destroyed several commercial and residential houses and swept motorcycles and a police car from the adjacent police detachment.
A mass was also held at the site for the victims on Saturday morning.
In his weekly radio program with Bulakenyo broadcaster Rommel Ramos, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said an inspection of other big water tanks in this city and other water districts will be conducted to check the structural integrity.
“This is an eye opener. Public safety is our topmost concern and it is mandatory for all water district officials to inspect their water tanks especially the old ones,” he said.