A man and a young girl were killed while 15 other people, mostly children, were injured in an explosion near an elementary school in Pontevedra, Capiz, Monday noon, authorities said.

The man carrying the still undetermined type of explosive and a grade school pupil were both declared dead at the hospital where they were taken to after the blast, said Espiridion Pelaez, executive officer of the Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

The blast occurred beside the elementary school along the national highway in Brgy. Lantangan around 12 p.m.

“Many of the injured are pupils because it happened near a school,” Pelaez, who rushed to the area, said by phone.

One of those killed was 9-year-old Trina Rose Demayo, said Senior Superintendent Ulysses Caton, Capiz provincial police director.

Among the injured is a 19-year-old man who happened to pass while pupils who just emerged from morning classes were walking and playing around the school’s vicinity, he said.

Investigators have yet to identify the man who carried the explosive and whose body was cut in two, Caton said.

It is presumed, however, that the man was a local of Capiz, not an “outsider,” he said.

“Mayroon tayong nakapanayam na tricycle driver, ito daw ‘yung nasakyan niya, ang sabi sa atin ay galing daw siya sa isang barangay sa President Roxas… We presume he is a local resident dahil dito,” Caton said.

Members of the Explosives and Ordnance Disposal Team and Scene of the Crime Operatives are still trying to determine the circumstances of the blast and what type of explosive went off.

“Sa ngayon hindi pa masabi kung anong type of explosive ‘yung sumabog, pero wala namang crater doon sa kalsada… As of now ang tinitingnan namin dito is it can be an IED (improvised explosive device) or a grenade,” Caton said.

Probers are still working in the area early Monday evening, using search lights to look for traces of the explosive, he said. (John Roson)

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