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Methane from Korean trash likely caused its burning, BFP says.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has brushed aside the possibility of arson for Monday's 11-hour fire that burned a quarter of the 5,177 metric tons of Korean trash stocked in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

This developed as Misamis Oriental 2nd District Rep. Juliette Uy raised the possibility of arson, urging the relevant government agencies to investigate.

Chief Inspector Randy Obsioma, chief of the BFP's Tagoloan fire station, clarified that they were not completely ruling out arson yet.

However, evidence from the fire scene makes the conclusion far-fetched.

If it were indeed arson, the flame would not have gone deeper, Obsioma explained, pointing to the five-foot-high mound of sacked garbage inside the compound of Verde Soko (Philippines) Industrial Corporation, a company that seeks to operate a waste recycling facility inside the Phividec Industrial Estate.

'So far, our investigators did not find any piece of evidence that could point to arson,' he said.

Obsioma noted that the Verde Soko facility was fenced with security personnel guarding it, hence 'it would be difficult for intruders to come in and light the trash.'

He said Monday's fire did not just burn the surface but also penetrated the bottom of the mound of mostly plastic waste, suggesting that 'something unusual might have triggered it.'

He said the fire could likely be caused by the methane gas produced by the trash exposed to heat.

The trash has been the object of controversy for several months now. Last week, the South Korean embassy in Manila has announced these were set for shipment back to South Korea next month.

These were part of more than 6,500 metric tons of garbage illegally shipped into the country in two batches last year.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 15, 2019
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