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(UPDATE 3) One killed in Bataan oil refinery gas leak

Posted by Abi Kwok on September 1, 2008

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 12:28:00 09/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines – A suspected gas leak killed one and injured another in an oil refinery in the province of Bataan, a police official said on Monday.

In a phone interview, Senior Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan of the Bataan provincial police said that initial reports showed that at around 4:30 a.m., a technician of the Petron oil refinery in Limay, called police after seeing two of his colleagues unconscious.

The technician reported smelling something foul and police suspected it to have been a gas leak, said Gaerlan.

When police arrived at the scene, one identified as Engineer Anthony Jed Reyes, 24, resident of Cataning Village in Bagalang, Bataan was rushed to the St. Joseph Hospital but was declared dead on arrival. Another Engineer Nico Balonzo remained confined at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital.

Petron officials said the accident occurred at the Sour Water Treating Facility at the Petron Bataan Refinery.

“The two technicians had been performing a maintenance task to address a high liquid level condition in a waste water collecting drum, and appear to have been inadvertently exposed to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas,” said Virginia Ruivivar, public affairs manager of Petron.

“Contrary to earlier reports, there are no leaks or explosions and the incident was confined to a very small area,” she added.

Gaerlan said that as of posting time, police and Petron officials have closed down and quarantined the affected section of the refinery. Police and Petron personnel are still investigating the matter.

The incident has also been reported to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), Ruivivar said.

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