MANILA, Philippines — Mayor Toby Tiangco has called on national government agencies to investigate the ammonia leak from an ice plant in Navotas City, resulting in the death of at least two people.
“They [people] can look, they can pass by the ice plant. Ako ‘yung mismong nagsabi ng order na ‘wag niyo bubuksan [ang ice plant] hangga’t hindi safe at siguraduhing visible ang closure order,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT
(I myself ordered to keep the ice plant shut as long as it’s not safe and make sure that the closure order is visible.)
Tiangco’s statement was in reaction to conflict of interest concerns regarding the local government’s conduct of an investigation since the ice plant is owned by his mother’s relatives.
“If there are national government agencies, I welcome you po and encourage you to investigate so that the investigation is objective,” he added.
Tiangco also noted that he is “not in any way involved in the operations of the ice plant.”
The mayor earlier assured that ice plant management will shoulder hospitalizations and burial expenses of victims.
On Wednesday afternoon, a substance leak from the ice plant led the Navotas City mayor to ask residents to immediately evacuate the area.
At the time, Tiangco said more than 60 people were hospitalized while fire responders were trying to contain the ammonia leak. Authorities contained the chemical leak just two hours before midnight.