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First responders severely injured in laundry shop blast; families ask for help

by Izel Abanilla

FIRST responders at a laundry shop explosion in Malate, Manila on Monday night are seeking financial help from owners of the establishment for the treatment of the injuries they sustained in the incident.

According to Barangay Chairman Roderick Relivo, two of his tanod were injured. One of them is 40-year-old Julius Opaque, a barangay ex-o who responded to a distress call upon being informed about an LPG tank leak at the laundry shop.

A loud explosion followed, leaving 20 individuals injured, some severely.

The victims were brought to various hospitals in Manila, including the Philippine General Hospital, Ospital ng Maynila, and Adventist Medical Center. No deaths were reported. 

The Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office initially said that 15 were injured in the blast, but it later updated the figures to 20.

Help needed

Evelyn Opaque, stepmother of Julius Opaque, told republicasia that her stepson is in need of medication support from the laundry shop owners, more than the supply of burn ointment. 

“Papaano na lang ‘yung gamot nu’ng pasyente na kailangan. ‘Di naman kami mapera para bumili ng gamot eh ang mahal mahal ng cream,” she said. 

Her stepson is currently on oxygen to help with his breathing, but it is his skin injuries that concerns his family. 

“Kagabi tinatanggal ‘yung first skin eh, bina-brush nu’ng mga doktor dun. Parang zombie nga ngayon,” she said. 

She also called on the public for help, and appealed to Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna to assist in the treatment of the blast victims.

“Yung may-ari ng laundry shop saka ‘yung tangke na sinasabi na, ‘wag na intayin kung kelan pa maano kung sino mananagot. ‘Pag inantay pa ‘yun, buwan pa ang mangyayari, baka may patay na diyan sa mga nasunog,” she said. 

Similarly, building owner Macario Icaca Torre’s caretaker Dionisio Agintanan and the latter’s daughter Janine Agintanan were both rushed to the PGH after the blast and are currently undergoing treatment. 

“Third degree burn yata ang tawag doon eh, tanggal ‘yung balat nila eh. Medyo critical ang ano niya pero nagsasalita,” Torre said. 

He said he would shoulder their medical expenses for now and was not yet forcing the laundry shop owner to pay for their hospitalization.

As to the issue of financial assistance requested by the victims and their families, Chairman Relivo said the laundry shop owners had informed him that they would shoulder the expenses. In fact, they have a scheduled visit to the PGH to check on the victims, he said. 

Photo credit: Ang Pahayagang Plaridel

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