Lorenzana assures gov't assistance to arsenal blast victims

Published May 29, 2021, 3:57 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has conducted an ocular inspection at the Department of National Defense (DND)’s Government Arsenal (GA) facility in Limay, Bataan where two personnel died in a recent explosion.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana meets with the families of the victims of the explosion at the Government Arsenal facility in Limay, Bataan on May 28, 2021. (Photo courtesy of DND) (Photo courtesy of DND)

Lorenzana inspected on Friday, May 28, Building 27 or the mixing composition room of the GA facility where Ricardo Solomon, 40, and Marvin Tatel, 38, died in a blast last May 26. He was accompanied by GA Administrator Director Arnold Rafael Depakakibo.

“Working in the Government Arsenal is as hazardous as being on the battlefield,” said Lorenzana in a statement on Saturday, May 29.

“Despite the strictest measures in place, accidents can still happen. This is why safety is our utmost priority, especially in our production facilities. It is truly sad that two of our specialists in the GA lost their lives while on duty. One life lost is one too many,” he added.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana inspects the explosion site at the Government Arsenal facility in Limay, Bataan on May 28, 2021. (Photo courtesy of DND)

Lorenzana also met with the families of Solomon and Tatel to express his sympathies and to assure them that they would get the necessary support from the government. The same assurance was given to Macreldo Rodriguez and Allan Wisco, who suffered concussions and temporary loss of hearing as a result of the incident.

Lorenzana directed Depakakibo to immediately facilitate the issuance of financial assistance and other benefits due to the affected personnel and their families.

“The investigating team is looking at the possibility of a handling accident or static electricity as the probable cause of the explosion,” Lorenzana disclosed.

“[The] production of the .45 caliber ammunition in the GA continues but the Composition Mixing Facility has temporarily ceased its operation,” he added.

Visibly saddened over the lives lost, the DND head honcho urged the GA leadership to strictly implement and monitor safety measures in workplaces to prevent similar accidents from happening.

“While accidents are inevitable, we must do everything we can to minimize the probability of it from happening,” Lorenzana concluded.