Deadly explosions destroy fireworks shops

A blaze ripped through a group of fireworks shops in the Philippines yesterday, killing two people and leaving 24 others injured,officials said. The fire set off a series of explosions at a strip of shops that overturned a truck and badly damaged three other vehicles on a major road in Bocaue, a town about30km north of Manila. “I was hurled to the back of the shop by the force of the explosion,” Mel Berbosa de Castro, 50,her lip still bleeding, said from her shop across the street. “I saw a bloodied old man running away looking for his grandchild. Others were just running for their lives.” Driver Ricky Salvador, 47, said he helped take a victim with a bloodied face to hospital. “It was like a war zone. I saw shards of glass, nails flying up in the air. Firecrackers were flying all over, ” he said. The town’s fire marshal, Senior Inspector Renan Batchine, put the updated toll at two dead, including a woman burnt beyond recognition and the body of a man unearthed from beneath the debris hours later. Twenty-four other people were injured, he said.