SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The Antique Provincial Explosive and Canine Unit (PECU) on Thursday directed residents of Barangay 1 in Sibalom municipality this province to report any recovered unexploded World War II bomb in the area.
This, as PECU reported that a possible vintage bomb exploded at the residential compound of former Board Member Eric Otayde evening of June 6, 2021.
PECU team leader, Police Captain Roi Robin Urbina, in an interview, said based on their investigation a bomb-type explosive went off due to the shifting of the topsoil after a bad weather.
“Based on our post-blast investigation, the explosion came from underground which created a crater with more or less two feet in diameter and depth of more or less six inches,” he said.
They also recovered 17 pieces of metal fragments, which appeared to be pieces of shell from a projectile usually used in mortars, aircraft guns, and artillery.
Urbina added that they learned from residents of the compound that there used to be a Japanese hospital that stood in the area during the last World War.
“I am suspecting that there might be other artilleries still underneath the area but for that, we need a metal detector to find out,” he said.
However, Urbina said they do not have a metal detector that could detect up to two feet below ground.
He has instructed the residents to inform them immediately if they could recover similar bombs or projectile.
Meanwhile, Otayde said that although the police has conducted an investigation, he is still in a quandary why the incident only happened last June 6 when they had been using the area as a passageway to their house.
“We had been using the area where the bomb had exploded as our pathway to the house for years,” he said.
He also said that some of their neighbors told him that they saw two men onboard a motorcycle stopping in front of their house just before the blast.
“We had neighbors who told me that the riding in tandem was wearing helmets the reason why they could not easily identify them,” Otayde said.
Due to the incident, he said a steel gate will be reinstalled and closed-circuit television (CCTV) will be set up at their compound.
Otayde said that he suspects that the explosion could have been caused by persons who were hurt by his hard-hitting online posts.
“I am just thankful that we were inside the house eating our dinner when it happened,” he said. (PNA)