(UPDATE 4 – 10:58 p.m.) The Manila Police Department scrambled an explosive and ordnance team to the scene of an explosion that rocked Quiapo district early Saturday evening, which was followed by a second blast at around 8:30 p.m.
The first blast took place at 5:55 p.m. along Norzagaray Street corner Elizondo Street while the second blast happened at 8:32 p.m., both near Quiapo’s Golden Mosque.
The Manila Police District is eyeing clan war as a possible angle in the incident.
Police sources indicated that the first explosion happened at the office of Shia Group.
The blast resulted in the death of two persons and four others were rushed to Mary Chiles Hospital in nearby Sampaloc, Manila.
Sketchy reports fed into the newsroom indicated that a member of the explosives team was hurt in the second blast, plus one other person.
The explosives team, led by a certain SPO2 Fabian, responded to the scene of the first explosion, and the incident is under investigation as this report was being prepared.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde said that the area of the new explosion was not far from area of the earlier blast incident on April 28 where two people were also killed.
A statement was issued late Saturday evening by Albayalde related to the Quiapo Explosion, as extracted below:
I urge everyone to remain vigilant and provide cooperation to our policemen especially those living the area of explosion.
Your authorities are on top of the situation.
While there is no reason for the public to be alarmed, I request everyone, especially those on social media, to please refrain from posting and passing on unconfirmed information so we do not sow fear or mislead the public.
Also, please report immediately to the police anything out of the ordinary. We will update you on the case as soon as our team will complete assessment in the area.
We assure everyone that we will leave no stone unturned until we make arrests and give justice to the victims.
Meantime, I order all our policemen on the ground to stay alert and focused in securing their areas of responsbility.
Finally, please allow us to do our job and we will inform everyone on the progress of the investigation.