Roxas: Serendra blast caused by LPG

Natashya Gutierrez

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Investigators conclude LPG caused the explosion at Two Serendra last May 31. Was the LPG distributed to Serendra tenants odorless?

MANILA, Philippines – Investigators conclude liquified petroleum gas, or LPG caused the explosion at Two Serendra last May 31.

But DILG Secretary Mar Roxas does not say who is responsible for the deadly blast.

There’s another crucial issue in the investigation: was the LPG distributed to Serendra tenants odorless?

Natashya Gutierrez reports.

The explosion was consistent with a gas explosion, most likely LPG.

One week after the deadly explosion in Two Serendra that killed 3 and injured 4, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas confirms the blast was caused by a gas leak.
The source? Liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, according to the inter-agency investigation.
Two Serendra, a posh enclave in Taguig City, uses a centralized piped-in gas system.
Bonifacio Gas Corporation supplies LPG to the building and other properties of Bonifacio Global City.
Prof CP David, a geoscientist, explains the team arrived at the conclusion the blast was consistent with a gas explosion because of 4 factors.
There was minimal post explosion residue, no crater, an instantly dissipated flame, minimal charring, and a pressure wave.
But Roxas says they have yet to find out what ignited the explosion or where the leak came from.
He also does not say who is liable for the blast but says Angelito San Juan, who was renting apartment 501B, appears to have behaved normally.

Finger-pointing has not begun
I think right now all we’re prepared to say is its a gas explosion… negligence, incompetence, fraud, we’re not saying. Hindi pa nagsisimula and turuan all we can say is it’s a gas explosion.

Dr. David adds, only a small amount of gas is needed to ignite a blast as powerful as the Serendra explosion.
He says 3 factors are needed: fuel, air and ignition.
A perfect mix of 3 spells the recipe for disaster.
He says something as simple as a light switch can cause the explosion.

There is a specific mixture of my air and my flammable material… that is a perfect mix at which your material can explode and cause fire.

Gas leaks are usually detected because of a foul smell caused by an additive, mercaptan.
But a source tells Rappler the gas used by Serendra was odorless.
This, despite a statement on BGC’s website it uses an odorant for safety.
If proven the gas was odorless, BGC may be liable for the deadly blast.
But with no one yet to blame, all eyes are on the gas supplier and how they will explain the leak turned nightmare.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Manila.


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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.