World | Philippines

3 hurt in Philippines flower festival grenade blast

Participants were making preparations for the conduct of the float parade at Burnham Park

  • By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent
  • Published: 14:11 February 24, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manila: At least three people were hurt following a grenade blast during celebrations marking the annual Penagbenga flower festival in northern Philippines Baguio City, reports reaching the capital said.

Participants were making preparations for the conduct of the float parade at Burnham Park on the last day of the three-day event when a powerful blast rocked the Melvin Jones Grand Stand around 7am.

A radio report by dzMM said a man was seen throwing an object inside the office of the Baguio Civilian Volunteer Against Crime near the grandstand seconds before the blast occurred.

The explosion injured security guard Gilbert Salvador as well as Joseph Espana and Jenard Palomique. They were taken to the Baguio City General Hospital for shrapnel wounds.

Penagbenga is a much-awaited annual event held as a thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. It is attended by hundreds of thousands of people from the highland Cordillera Region as well as local and foreign tourists who marvel at the beautiful floral designs of the participating floats.

In past years, the event had been attended by politicians as it takes place just several weeks before local and national elections.

In a radio interview, Cordillera regional police head Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong, said the explosion near the grandstand is an isolated incident and people should not be alarmed.

Authorities said they were investigating the blast and gathering more data on the suspect.

Penagbenga festivities in the past had been held without incident.

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