Pension house blast kills 2 wedding guests, soldier PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 17:10

27 others injured, building wrecked

The church wedding of an architect and his fiancee scheduled yesterday (November 28)  was called off after a powerful explosion ripped through a pension house in Canelar Sunday night killing two of the members of the wedding entourage as well as a soldier billeted in the same place.

Twenty seven others, mostly invited wedding guests of the groom and bride from Pagadian City, were wounded in the strong blast that shook the large Canelar neighborhood and heard as far as Mercedes in the east coast.

The explosion also destroyed the window glasses of nearby edifices.

Clifford John Lanipa, an employee of the Pagadian City government and his fiancee Cristy Ann Isidro, both residents of Zamboanga City, were set to exchange “I do” in a local church yesterday and more than 20 friends and relatives from Pagadian City, invited to the wedding, were billeted at the Atilano Pension House.

Clifford Lanipa and some relatives were at another local hotel where the wedding reception was to be held and were finalizing arrangement thereat around 9:30 p.m. when he received an information from a relative that a powerful explosion took place at the Atilano Pension house.

Investigation showed that the bomb exploded at Room 226 at the second floor of the pension house.

Lanipa and some relatives rushed to the blast site and were terrified to see the pension house — where his mother, other relatives and visitors were staying, was already on fire after the explosion.

A police report disclosed that the explosion happened around 9:30 p.m. at the second floor of the old pension house building.

The explosion ignited a fire that destroyed the two-storey building.

Firefighters battled the flames and later put the blaze under control.

A woman, whose house is located near the pension house, recalled that when she and other neighbors rushed to the blast site, she met a woman who was only in her underwear with bleeding wounds in the head, running away from the scene and begging for help.

The woman and other helpful residents assisted the wounded woman. They took her to a tricycle and rushed to a hospital. She however expired on the way.
The fatality was identified only as a certain Maris, a relative of the wedding couple.

The two other fatalities were Roel Barcelona, who was declared dead on arrival at a hospital and Fidel Agias, a barangay kagawad and a registered nurse in Pagadian City and a close friend of Lanipa.
Agias’ body was retrieved only yesterday morning during continuous investigation at the blast site.

Clifford Lanipa is the son of Claro Lanipa of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
City Police Director Sr. Supt. Edwin De Ocampo said the police bomb squad were still gathering and retrieving pieces of evidence from the blast site to determine the kind of explosive that exploded in the pension house.
Authorities could not say yet whether or not last Sunday’s devastating explosion was a terror attack.
In January, 2000,  another powerful explosion rocked the same pension house killing three Muslim militants who were assembling explosives in one of the rooms.
Explosions that occurred in M/V Doulos, a mercy ship, Puericulture Center in 2001, P. Reyes St. in 1992, Campaner St., Red Palm Pension house, San Roque Cockpit and last Sunday’s blast at the Atilano Pension house all happened in Sunday. — Dan Toribio Jr.