20 AUGUST 2009
GASOLINE STORAGE LATERAL
I started writing a
simple response to mapmaster’s thread about ‘Inside Malinta Storage System'
and it kind of grew a life of its own.
It is interesting what we take for granted. All the times I have walked past
those laterals and never realized that one of them was ‘missing’ until our
surveys. It is like a haunted house with a secret room. As mapmaster says,
it is not actually missing; it is just not visible from the main east-west
The day tourists and the overnighters who take the ‘Malinta laterals night
tour’ do NOT get to visit this area of the underground complex.
Here are a few photos of what the ‘Gasoline Tunnel’ area of the Malinta
Tunnel looks like. (By the way, many people refer to it by that name but I
have never seen any official name for it. Also, I have been told it probably
stored diesel fuel and not gasoline. Anyone know for sure?
The lateral is marked as the 'North West Entrance' on mapmaster's map
090517_B.jpg - on
the western side of Malinta Hill, the Gasoline Tunnel has its own entrance
looking back out the Gasoline Tunnel entrance
090517_D.jpg - the
mounts and one tank at the end of a lateral.
The size of these
tanks is only a little smaller than the lateral in which they were
installed. There is a walkway down each side of a tank but it is quite
narrow. This one is flattened by a roof cave-in above it.
090517_E.jpg - this
tank has been pushed (from right to left) across the main tunnel by the
force of an explosion.
090517_F.jpg - the end of the main tunnel with north and south laterals
Here is another
dislodged tank with the end bowed out. Fuel drums are scattered everywhere.
This is amazing, note the ceiling which was so hot from the fires that it
melted and was dripping.
090517_G.jpg – imagine the force required to crush/melt these huge tanks
like beer cans.
090517_H.jpg – another crushed ‘beer can’.
090517_I.jpg – time to get back out of there. Make your way north up one of
two accessible laterals to reach the small ventilation tunnel running
east-west. In this photo, it starts at the end on the right (this is the
north-western corner of Malinta Tunnel).
walking east along the rough ventilation tunnel, here is what the small
doorway into north-west lateral #2 looks like.
090517_K.jpg – continuing east, the doorway IS to north-west lateral #3.
Note the ventilation
tunnel continuing straight ahead. To exit Malinta go straight ahead to the
next lateral and turn right. When you reach the main Malinta east-west
tunnel, turn right to exit via the west entrance.
Finally, if you think all of Malinta Tunnel has been cleaned-up and
resurfaced over the years, look at this. There are still original wooden
beams and metal brackets lying around this north-side lateral. All of
Malinta Tunnel must have been a real mess after the war and before clean-up
But that's another story!