1 killed, 12 hurt in Philippine refinery accident

1 killed, 12 hurt in Philippine refinery accident

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has stopped the San Miguel Consolidated Power Plant (SMCPP) and its subcontractor from operating a boiler inside Petron Bataan Refinery (PBR) in Limay town, Bataan province, after an accident there killed a worker and injured 12 others on Wednesday.

In an order issued on Friday, lawyer Ana Dione, DOLE Central Luzon director, suspended the operations at Unit 4, a circulating fluidized bed boiler, "until the presence of imminent danger is removed."

The fatality was identified as Rowell Sapo, a pipe fitter. Ten other workers and two PBR employees suffered burn injuries.

The DOLE said the accident may have been triggered by "work methodology lapses particularly in the operation of the equipment" and "insufficient safety provision" for workers.

SMCPP and its subcontractor, Mecon System, were ordered to comply with DOLE's findings, submit a corrective work methodology for the operation of power boilers, present an action plan to conduct safety education for operators and maintenance personnel, and install additional safety control indicators for accurate monitoring of necessary equipment parameters.

Petron said Mecon System has been asked to fully cooperate with authorities. "We are also more than willing to assist in the investigation and take steps to ensure that accidents like this are prevented," Petron said in a statement.

The firm was required to submit proof that extended benefits were given to the families of the victims and that affected workers were given salaries and benefits during the work stoppage.

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