Five hurt in Philippine army munitions depot fire

MANILA (AFP) - At least five people were injured when fire hit a Philippine army munitions depot near the country's financial district on Wednesday, triggering at least one massive explosion, officials said.

Local television footage showed uniformed soldiers carrying some of the wounded on stretchers away from a burning building enveloped in black smoke.

Three other men, two in military uniform and one in civilian clothing, sat on the pavement awaiting medical help.

"I was a few metres (yards) away when the fire broke and caused a loud explosion," army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Noel Detoyato told reporters.

"Two of my cameramen were wounded as well as some firemen," he added.

The fire razed the munitions supply depot at the Philippine Army Reserve Command, a few minutes' drive from the Makati financial district in Manila.

He said the army had ordered the evacuation of nearby offices and commercial buildings as a precaution.

"There is still a possibility there could be more explosions. The area is still very hot, and ammunition reacts to heat," he said.

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