An aerial photograph showing the South Korean trash catching fire. (Photo from Misamis Oriental Rep. Juliette Uy’s Facebook account)

Cagayan de Oro – Part of the remaining 5,000 metric tons of imported trash from South Korea due for re-exportation suddenly caught fire Monday, August 12. 

Atty. Franklin Quijano, administrator of Phividec Industrial Authority, said he has ordered an investigation on the incident.

Fire inspector Randy Obsioma, acting fire marshal of Phividec Industrial Estate-Misamis Oriental Fire Station, said they suspect spontaneous combustion as the cause of the fire though he admits that their investigation is still ongoing.

He said wastes produce methane gas which when subjected to high temperatures might spontaneously produce fire.

John Simon, port collector of the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT), said the South Korean government made a commitment “to immediately re-export the remaining garbage back to Korea at the soonest possible time.”

However, he said the Korean government has failed to identify the vessel that would pick up the garbage citing health and environmental concerns. (Rommel F. Lopez)