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Two dead, 24 injured in Philippines fireworks blaze



Two people have died and two dozen others injured in a fire at a strip of fireworks shops in the Philippines.

The fire set off a series of explosions on Wednesday in Bocaue, a town about 30 kilometers north of the capital Manila.

A truck and three other vehicles were also damaged in the incident.

“I was hurled to the back of the shop by the force of the explosion,” said 50-year-old shopkeeper Mel Berbosa de Castro, whose lip was still bleeding and her back hurting from the blast.

“I saw a bloodied old man running away looking for his grandchild. Others were just running for their lives,” she added.

“It was like a war zone. I saw shards of glass, nails flying up in the air. Firecrackers were flying all over,” said driver Ricky Salvador, who had helped take a victim with a bloodied face to hospital.

A truck was overturned by an explosion during a fire in a strip of fireworks shops in Bocaue, north of Manila, the Philippines, October 12, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Bocaue’s fire marshal, Senior Inspector Renan Batchine, put the updated toll at two dead, including a woman burnt beyond recognition and the body of a man unearthed from beneath the debris hours later.

Ignoring safety regulations often lead to huge and sometimes deadly fires breaking out at slums, markets and factories in the Philippines.

In May 2015, 72 people were killed in a huge blaze at a footwear factory in the northern suburbs of Manila.

In 1996, 162 people were killed at a Manila club.

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