Bomb blast hurts 25 in Norcot school PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 10:47

ARAKAN, North Cotabato — At least 25 persons, 17 of them were in critical condition, were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off inside a state-run college here on Sunday evening while the victims were battling a fire, police said.

Senior Inspector Rolly Oranza of Arakan, North Cotabato, the blast came while a fire was in progress inside the campus of Cotabato Foundation College of Science and technology in Barangay Poblacion, Arakan at about 8 p.m.

“A fire was in progress at the residential cottage inside the campus where school security guards temporarily reside when the explosion occurred,” Oranza said.

Oranza said initial investigation showed that fire was intentional as arson investigators recovered containers with gasoline and chemical residue.

Most of the victims were teachers, students, security guard and police personnel who among those who responded to a fire incident.

“We are still determining the composition of improvised explosive,” Oranza said, adding that motive of the attack remained unknown at this time.

He added many of the victims were students and school workers who reside inside the school campus and among those who responded to the fire incident or merely kibitzers.

The police chief refused to comment on reports that the explosion was part of the efforts to remove the school president who was allegedly opposed by students, workers and some faculty members.

Last September, an improvised explosive device was planted in front of the school flagpole but an alert security guard found it. Police later defused the bomb made of 81 mm mortar.

Oranza also refused to comment on the reports that the incident was carried out by groups opposed to school administrator.