MANILA (UPDATE) - The ice plant owned by the family of Mayor Toby Tiangco's mother will shoulder the burial and hospitalization of those affected by an ammonia leak Wednesday, the local executive said.
An employee identified as Gilbert Naval Tiangco was declared dead on arrival at the Navotas City Hospital, according to the mayor. Fifty others who were brought to the hospital have returned to their homes, he said.
Some 24 residents who were brought to Tondo Medical Center have also gone home, while 20 residents remain under observation at the Philippine General Hospital, he added.
The fatality might be a distant relative of his, according to the mayor.
"Yung hospital bill atsaka burial cost ay dapat sagutin ng kompanya because ang aksidente ay nanggaling po sa kompanya," Tiangco told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo Thursday.
(The hospital bill and burial cost should be shouldered by the company because the accident came from them.)
"Ako'y humihingi ng paumanhin dun sa lahat ng naperwisyo. Kahit po ayan ay kompanya ng nanay ko, kailangan po silang sumunod sa lahat ng regulasyon at sisiguraduhin po nating susunod sila."
(I apologize to all those inconvenienced. Even if it's a company of my mother, it needs to follow all regulations and we will make sure they will do so.)
Tiangco has ordered the city government to make an accounting of all expenses so it can be paid by the ice plant, of which his mother has a 25 percent ownership.
"In this case I will not allow the city government to spend a single centavo, so lahat ng nagastos ng city government d'yan kailangan bayaran ng kompanya out of delicadeza kasi nga kamag-anak ko 'yun," he told ANC's Headstart.
(The company should pay for everything that the city government spent out of delicadeza because they're my relatives.)
"Hindi pupuwede na they would benefit directly or indirectly from this."
(They should not benefit directly or indirectly from this.)
The mayor also urged state agencies to look into the incident for an impartial investigation.
"If there any national government agencies who want to investigate, I welcome you po and I encourage you to be the one to investigate para impartial po (so it would be impartial)," he said.
It was the first time that an ammonia leak had occurred in the area, said Jimboy Cailo, resident of Barangay North Bay Boulevard South.
"Masakit sa mata na maanghang siya tapos parang di ka makahinga nang maayos. Parang nanghihina ka. Parang ganun po na nasusuka na di mo maintindihan ang naradamdaman mo," he said.
(It hurt our eyes and we can't breathe properly. We felt weak, like we're about to vomit but we can't understand what we're feeling.)
"Kanya-kanyang likas po ang bawat pamilya, dun po kami lumikas sa Smokey Mountain kasi doon po di nalalanghap."
(Each family evacuated on their own. We fled to the Smokey Mountain because you can't smell it from there.)
Factories such as cold plants should be far away from residential areas, Cailo said.
"Dapat nilalayo ang ganyang mag factory na nakasisira sa tao," he said.
(These kinds of factories should be built far away from people.)
Tiangco, meantime, said the area was an industrial zone.
He said he has ordered the factory closed until it can be declared as safe.