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Fire, toppled tower cause heavy traffic in SLEX

Drone video shot by the Muntinlupa City Fire Station and Gilbert Dolot

A fire that started today, 19 April 2017, at around 8:48 a.m., caused heavy traffic along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), specifically at the Alabang, Muntinlupa exit.

Traffic ground to a halt as motorists were barred from passing the northbound side of SLEX, due to a fire that broke out in a residential area in Muntinlupa City.

Although the fire was declared by authorities to be under control and out at 9:15 a.m., it still caused substantial damage and disruption, as a tower of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) fell on the southbound exit of SLEX. The northbound and southbound lanes of the Alabang viaduct were temporarily closed at around 9:37 a.m. and were re-opened at 10:32 a.m.

The NGCP’s 230kV line transmission tower (Tower 34) located near the Alabang Exit tripped due to the fire. The fire was reported to have been caused by illegal settlers. The foundation of Tower 34 weakened, first causing the tower to lean. No power interruptions were reported, due to the NGCP’s redundancy system.

No casualties were reported and the NGCP is currently coordinating with the Bureau of Fire Protection and on-the-ground responders to assess and remedy the situation. As of 12:37 p.m., the National Power Corporation was still clearing the toppled tower.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area and seek alternative means of accessing SLEX.