Fire, blast destroy building at Philippine army barracks, injure 24

The Philippine army says a large explosion during a fire has destroyed a building housing its explosives and ordnance unit and injured at least 24 people, mostly fire fighters and soldiers.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said the cause of Wednesday's fire at the building inside the army headquarters in Taguig City in the suburbs of Manila is being investigated by the army and fire officials.

Staff at the army hospital say three soldiers suffered serious burns. Detoyato says most of the injured were hit by flying debris from the concrete structure after a huge explosion flattened the building.

He says ammunition for troops from the Explosives and Ordnance Battalion plus explosives used as instructional materials by the unit were ignited during the blaze.