MANILA (4TH UPDATE) - A huge explosion rocked a busy night market Friday evening in Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, killing at least 10 people and injuring up to 30 others, local police and officials said. A statement from Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, released through the local government's official Facebook page, confirmed the number of deaths. The cause of the explosion has yet to be determined.
"Right now, we cannot yet give definite answer to as to who is behind this as we are also trying to determine what really exploded," said Paolo, a son of President Rodrigo Duterte. "It's a sad day for Davao and for the Philippines." The explosion happened at around 10 p.m., a time when many people flock the popular night market, according to Davao City police Insp. Katherine Dela Rey in an interview with DZMM. Dela Rey added that at least 30 people were rushed to a nearby hospital following the explosion, which took place at the massage area of the night market along Roxas Avenue.
Online images show emergency teams rushing people out of the night market in wheelchairs and stretchers. Mre than 20 people were rushed to the Southern Philippines Medical Center. Police Regional Office 11 Director Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan, meanwhile, has called for calm and asked people to refrain from "creating/passing misleading or unverified reports to avoid confusion and panic." "The PNP is assuring the public that the situation is being handled carefully. A thorough investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the explosion and checkpoints/chokepoints were already established at all exit points in the city. We call on all the people to be vigilant at all times and report to the police any suspicious packages or persons," said Gaerlan.
Ateneo De Davao University, which is near the night market, has issued a lockdown and warned its students to avoid the area moments after the incident. "To all the students and bystanders in the Roxas night market, please stay away from the area and give way to the ambulances and police," an announcement posted on the university's official Twitter account read. with reports from Paul Palacio, ABS-CBN News