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Filipinos try to cut huge oil tank, 3 dead

Written by: Staff

MANILA, June 21 (Reuters) Three Filipino men were killed and another injured in a landslide today after they tried to saw off one of the buttresses of a hillside fuel tank to sell as scrap.

The men had hacked away at the one of the steel support beams for the huge oil tank in the former US airbase at Clark, north of Manila, police said. But tonnes of earth loosened by the hacking fell on them.

Ismael Rafanan, regional police chief, said rescue workers were still trying to locate the body of one of the men.

''We brought one man with bruises and cuts to a hospital and found two bodies,'' Rafanan said, adding thefts were rampant at the former US air force base despite tight security.

The US military withdrew from its two large bases in the Philippines in November 1992 when the Senate voted to end a treaty allowing Washington to keep military facilities in its former colony in Southeast Asia.

Clark is now a special economic zone and Coastal Corporation and the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (Coastal-PTT) operate a 22-hectare facility that has a dozen huge fuel tanks with the capacity to store 55,000 barrels of petroleum.


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