Zamboanga City

Zamboanga mayor suspends business permit of fireworks firm after deadly blast

Teofilo P. Garcia Jr.

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Zamboanga mayor suspends business permit of fireworks firm after deadly blast

AFTERMATH. The aftermath of the explosion of a firecracker warehouse in Zamboanga City on June 29, 2024.

Zamboanga City Mayor John Dalipe

Zamboanga's fire district chief recommends total ban on firecrackers in the city after the deadly June 29 explosion

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines – Mayor John Dalipe has suspended the business permit of a company whose stockpile of firecrackers exploded on Saturday, June 29, killing five people and injuring 38 others.

Dalipe issued the order on Monday, July 1, suspending the business permit of Jonathan Chua, the owner of Next Step Fireworks Shoppe. The explosion occurred in a warehouse at Marquez Drive, Barangay Tetuan, Zamboanga City.

Until the suspension order, Chua was the only holder of a permit to engage in such a business in Zamboanga.

Superintendent Christopher Morales, the Bureau of Fire Protection’s (BFP) Zamboanga City Fire District marshal, said they have yet to determine the cause of the explosion.

Morales reported that the explosion and subsequent fire caused an estimated P62.5 million in property damage. A warehouse and a residential house were destroyed, while 15 other structures were damaged.

Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief, said on Tuesday, July 2, that 30 of the 38 wounded victims sustained minor injuries, while the remaining eight were critically injured. 

“Their injuries are not life-threatening,” Apolinario said.

Morales recommended the imposition of a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in Zamboanga City to prevent similar incidents in the future. 

However, officials said the city council needs to amend the existing ordinance that allows the use of fireworks for entertainment purposes, subject to terms and conditions.

Personnel from the BFP, CDRRMO, Explosive Ordnance Demolition, military’s Task Force Zamboanga, Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources, City Engineer’s Office, and the village council of Tetuan conducted clearing operations at the blast site to pave the way for the opening of the area to civilians and motorists, including nearby residents.

They retrieved several boxes of drenched pyrotechnics from the blast site and brought them to Barangay Muti for proper disposal.

Meanwhile, Dalipe said he would order the City Engineer’s Office, police, and village officials to inspect all warehouses and storage facilities in Zamboanga City to ensure they operate in accordance with existing laws. –

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