Another fire breaks out near Palace
MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 2) Fire broke out from a manhole across Malacañang at 12 noon Wednesday, covering the area with thick white smoke and causing a power interruption.
The manhole is across the Arias Gate, the entrance gate for Palace visitors.
Reporters at the new Executive Building, beside the Palace, saw the light inside the building flicker and heard a loud noise.
A fire truck immediately put out the fire.
There were no immediate reports of injury.
The fire happened two days after Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelie Fajardo’s office was also razed.
The Manila City fire department also said its trucks remain on standby in case a fire breaks out at the New Executive Building after faulty electrical wires were discovered.
Fire fighters are now waiting for personnel from the Manila Electric Company to fix the problem.
Quoting initial information, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez said an underground power line was hit by workers on a pipe-laying project.
Asked if the Palace was eyeing sabotage, Golez said: “Nakita naman namin talaga na mukhang aksidente [We really saw that it was an accident]… but let’s wait for the results of the investigation.”
Golez also dismissed observations that the fire was a “bad omen” for Malacañang, saying, “It’s a coincidence. If you are a fervent Catholic, you don’t believe in that.”
The fire also caused a power outage inside the Palace, but Golez said back-up generators would be used.
He said he was at a meeting with Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita when the lights went out because of the fire.
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