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Aquino Orders Probe in Philippine Apartment Blast That Killed 3

Philippines President Benigno Aquino ordered an investigation into an explosion at an Ayala Land Inc. apartment in Manila that caused three deaths.

Yesterday’s blast in a fifth-floor unit at Two Serendra, a residential building in a business district of Taguig City caused a slab of concrete to fall on to a passing delivery van, fatally crushing three people, Ayala Land said in a statement. The cause was still unknown and the authorities are investigating, according to statement from Ayala, the nation’s biggest builder.

Aquino described the explosion as “unusual,” Mar Roxas, the president’s interior and local government secretary, told a briefing broadcast on local radio today. Ten units on the fifth floor of Two Serendra were damaged and residents of the apartment were evacuated, Ayala Land said.

“We don’t know if this was caused by a bomb, an accident or by a combustion of chemicals,” Roxas said. “This is unusual. The president was concerned, that’s why he came.”

The incident shook nearby buildings, shattering some windows, ABS-CBN News reported on its website.

Ayala Land said it’s cooperating fully with the authorities. The company rose 3.1 percent in Manila trading yesterday, exceeding the 1 percent advance of the Philippine Stock Exchange Index.

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