(WARNING: This story has potentially upsetting content. Readers should exercise caution.)
An explosion rocked Xentro Mall in Calapan earlier today, injuring several employees and customers of Mr. Won, a Korean restaurant located within the mall premises.
The incident occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m., causing panic among bystanders and affecting nearby businesses.
Eyewitness accounts indicate that the blast resulted in injuries to both employees and customers present at Mr. Won.
Majed Ali, a witness at the scene, captured the immediate aftermath of the explosion on a live recording. According to Ali, employees with burns on their arms and other parts of their bodies could be seen outside the mall, sitting on the ground, awaiting medical assistance.
Emergency responders arrived at the scene to attend to the injured individuals, who were later transported to nearby hospitals for further treatment. Preliminary reports suggest that bystanders in the vicinity of the explosion and neighboring businesses may have also sustained injuries, although the extent of the damage and the number of casualties remains unknown at this time.
Authorities, including local law enforcement and fire bureau personnel, are currently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the explosion.
Ali speculated that the explosion might have been caused by a gas leak from an LPG cylinder within the restaurant.
During the live recording, Ali captured footage of a Korean man, who appeared to be disoriented and covered in dust, with a small wound on his face.
It is believed that there were other Korean nationals inside the restaurant at the time of the explosion, some of whom may have been unaware of the situation unfolding around them.
“May mga Koreano doon sa loob na walang malay. May mga customers pa doon sa loob,” Ali can be heard saying on the video.
As of this writing, Calapan authorities have heightened security and are working diligently to ensure the safety of the area. Updates on the investigation and the condition of the injured victims are expected to be provided by the authorities in due course.