MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A powerful explosion ripped through a passenger bus in the Philippine capital today, killing at least four people and wounding at least 14 others, officials said.
The explosion was so powerful that it punched a hole in a nearby concrete fence along metropolitan Manila’s main highway in suburban Makati city, Mayor Junjun Binay said.
The bus was approaching a commuter railway station when the blast occurred inside the vehicle, taking out half of its front windshield, punching holes in windows and immediately killing a female passenger near the center of the explosion, Binay said.
He said the damage indicated that it was caused by a bomb.
He said one hospital reported two people dead and 18 wounded.
Metro Manila police chief Nicanor Bartolome said “an explosive” must have been placed under a passenger seat somewhere in the middle of the bus where it caused a “big hole” in the vehicle large enough for a man to pass through.
Bomb investigators were examining the debris to determine the type of explosives used, he said.
Binay said he was one of the first at the scene, describing the carnage to reporters.
“There were bones and flesh on the pavement. A bloodied body was still there. This is an act of terrorism,” he said.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were on the bus, but some were unharmed. Officials temporarily blocked traffic on the highway, causing a massive gridlock on Manila’s busiest thoroughfare.