Laundry shop blast injures 16 Lasallians, bystanders

A gas leak explosion in a laundry shop near the Enrique M. Razon Sports Complex (ERSC) Monday night, January 31, injured not less than 16 individuals in and around the area, including seven Lasallians and bystanders. 

The accident occurred at 360 Wash Laundry at Fidel A. Reyes St. corner Noli St. at around 6:50 pm, according to a CCTV recording provided by Barangay 709. A fire broke from the blast at about 7:20 pm and was declared out at around 7:34 pm.

The entire building that housed the laundry shop was damaged, affecting other tenants, the adjacent restaurant, a billiard hall, and a student dormitory.

Injured individuals included the laundry personnel, customers of the restaurant and billiard hall, the dormitory boarders, and a passerby that suffered burns and cuts from shattered glass and fractures from debris.

The Bureau of Fire Protection has yet to release its official findings regarding the cause of the explosion, but the police respondents suspect that it was from the gas tanks that the laundry shop used for their dryers. 

The National Bureau of Investigation Counter-Terrorism Division was at the scene at about 10 pm to confirm that the explosion was not an act of terrorism.

DLSU’s Health Services Office was the first to respond at the scene and treated victims at the ERSC. Access to the area was immediately restricted. University President Br. Bernard Oca FSC also responded to the area to check on students and other injured individuals.

Manila Police Station 9’s spot report listed seven victims brought to the Philippine General Hospital, another seven to Adventist Medical Center, and two to Ospital ng Maynila. 

Early Tuesday, January 31, DLSU said in a statement that all affected students were discharged from the Adventist Medical Center, while a security guard was admitted to a hospital. The University also confirmed that none of its property was damaged.

The same establishment, which previously housed a cafe, also caught fire in 2020. A similar accident involving a gas leak explosion from another laundry shop near the campus vicinity also occurred in November 2022. 

Following the explosion, the DLSU administration and University Student Government released advisories requesting students to be mindful of sharing photos or content related to the event. The Office of Counseling and Career Services has also offered psychological first-aid to those affected by the incident. 

With reports from Jezah Mae Bagsit, Zoila Caga, Maggy De Guzman, Christopher Go, Bea Francine Isuga, Alecxis Bianca Libang, Clyde Nicolas, and Enrico Sebastian Salazar

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