By Mar T. Supnad
Limay, Bataan — An oil tanker anchored a mile out from this town’s shoreline caught fire, causing an explosion that injured the ship captain and 17 members of his crew last Wednesday afternoon.
Police said fire broke out around 4 p.m. in the engine room of “M/TKR Reia Faye,” a marine oil tanker anchored one nautical mile off Barangay Luz, Limay, Bataan.
Chief Superintendent Aaron N. Aquino, Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) director, said ship captain Vincent Latap, 56, of Barangay 1, EMS Bario, Legaspi City, Albay, were among the injured. He sustained severe burns, Aquino said.
Latap told investigators that the ship’s engines were being powered-up when he heard an irregular noise in the engine room that was followed by an explosion. Fire began to spread, prompting some crew members to jump into the water, partly causing some of their injuries.
Other crew members who suffered major burns all over their bodies were ship apprentices Steven Kyle Calugay, 19, of San Fernando City, La Union and Rodgie Francisco, 23, of Cebu City; 2nd Engineer Marty S. Manzo, 41, of Bilogo Calatrova, Romblon; ship oiler Danilo Morollano, 23, of Bantayan Island, Cebu City; and Kenneth Guinto, 21, of Dagupan City, an on-the-job trainee (OJT).
Those who sustained minor burns were Christian Lexter Doroteo Faner, 25, of Dasmariñas City, Cavite; Bryan de Peralta, 25, of the Heritage Village of Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Celszann Cabanela Celis, of Antipolo City, all OJTs;
Restie Siona, 21, of Valenzuela City, Maria Theresita Diego, 21, of Malabon City; Petapaul Bones, 23, of Navotas City; Agustin Sabidal, 21, of Patnungon, Antique; James Darwin Oro, 22, of Iloilo City; John Lester Oro, 23, of Iloilo City; and Cris Raondero, 26, of Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, all apprentices; and Armando Leanillo, 61, 2nd Mate (3rd Officer), of Fairview, Quezon City; and Jonarick Garo, 22, checker, of Malate, Manila.
It was gathered that said marine tanker is operating under Reild Marine Servies & Trading, and was anchored at the shores of Limay while awaiting loading instructions from Petron Bataan Refinery.
Latap, Calugay, Faner, Peralta, and Celis are currently being treated for their severe burns at the Bataan General Hospital in Balanga City while the rest were taken to St. Michael Hospital in the town of Orion, also in Bataan. (With a report from Franco G. Regala)