16 hurt in Batangas plant accident

By Arnell Ozaeta, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 20 2014 09:29 AM | Updated as of Apr 20 2014 05:29 PM

BATANGAS, Philippines – Sixteen workers were hospitalized when a chemical spilled on them as they were working at a sugar factory in Nasugbu town on Friday.

Senior Superintendent Omega Jireh Fidel, Batangas police director, identified the victims as Albert, Ariel, Arnel, Dexter, Hernando, Jason, Lester, Leandro and Noriel, all surnamed Caraig, and their companions Joemart Barrio, Jeffrey Barion, Marvin dela Cruz, Avelino Malarayap, Rommel Vecinal, Edwin Sanchez and Jun Unas.

The victims were maintenance workers of the Central Azucarera Don Pedro.

Reports said the men were cleaning the interior of a chemical pipe when the incident occurred at around 7 p.m.

Police said the pipe has two cylinders that sprinkle water and caustic soda when operated through a remote control.

Witnesses said one of the workers identified as Mario dela Cuesta, inadvertently turned on the valves of the sprinklers causing the soda to pour on the victims who suffered burns in their faces and bodies.

The workers were rushed to the Western Batangas Medical Center in Balayan town for treatment.

Fumes suffocate 20 DepEd workers

Meanwhile, in Catbalogan City in Samar, 20 employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) were hospitalized after they complained of chest pains due to fumes coming from a generator set on Wednesday.

Senior Inspector Norwyn Valenzuela, city deputy police chief, said among those hospitalized were the city school division supervisors, principals, teachers and personnel, who were attending a seminar at the city school division office on Del Rosario street in Barangay 4.

Valenzuela said the windows of the room where the seminar was being held were closed and electric fans connected to a generator set provide ventilation to the venue.

At about 11 a.m., the victims complained of chest pains, numbness and difficulty in breathing.

Gerarda Tizon, chief of the City Health Office, said 11 of the victims were confined at the Samar Provincial Hospital (SPH) while the nine others were sent home after receiving treatment.

Tizon said the victims were suffocated by the carbon monoxide emitted by the generator set.

Witnesses told police they saw smoke coming out of the generator, which went up to the room where the seminar was being held.

“The victims felt dizzy, uneasy and nauseous,” Valenzuela said quoting some employees. – With Ricky Bautista