April 8, 2009 Wednesday

April 8, 2009
Philippine factory blast kills 12

MANILA - AT LEAST a dozen factory workers were killed and five were injured when a boiler overheated and exploded in the northern Philippines, local government officials and police said on Wednesday.

The explosion at a styrofoam packaging factory on Tuesday night was an accident, Allen Bantolo, police chief in Bulacan province north of the capital Manila, told reporters, ruling out sabotage.

'Four night shift workers at the factory were killed on the spot due to the explosion,' Mr Bantolo said, adding eight more died while undergoing treatment in nearby hospitals.

Five people were also injured, he said. Police and fire officers were still searching for three missing workers in the destroyed factory building.

There were about 20 people working at the factory at the time of the accident, said Bartolome Ramos, mayor of Santa Maria town in Bulacan province.

The factory operates three shifts since it opened 20 years ago, he added. -- REUTERS

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