Factory fire in Valenzuela reaches Task Force Charlie; death toll climbs to 72

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Fire in Valenzuela that allegedly started with welding sparks killed 70 and left 13 others missing

VALENZUELA CITY, PHILIPPINES -- A conflagration in a slipper factory killed 70 people and left 13 other still missing last Wednesday, May 13 in Sitio Gitna, Brgy. Ugong, Valenzuela City.

The seven-hour fire reportedly broke out at 11:28 AM and was officially declared under control at 6:47 PM. It spread rapidly and soon enough, the 3000 sq. m and two-storey factory was burned to the ground and along with it, hundreds of workers were trapped with no hopes of rescue or escaping.

At midday 12:38 PM, the local fire department raised the Task Force Charlie, the fourth highest alarm which involves seeking aid and cooperation from all fire stations around Metro Manila.

The bodies, most of whom were beyond recognition due to the burns, were recovered at around 5 PM. An hour later, the number of casualties raised to a total of 31 bodies and by 8 PM, around 35 bodies were recovered. As of May 14, 2015 Thursday at 2:58 PM, the number of fatalities piqued to a total of 70 and counting.

Superintendent Crisfo Diaz, deputy director of the Bureau of Fireplace Coverage’s Nationwide Capital Area administrative center said that death occurred initially due to suffocation followed by the actual fire itself.

“They died as a result of suffocation ‘til they have been burnt as the fire gutted the construction.” Diaz stated in an interview.

Local government declared that this fire was by far the ‘biggest’ the city has encountered in terms of the casualties. In an interview, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian stated that they were already conducting a probe to find out who should be held accountable.

Mervin Ardes, security guard and fire survivor, said that the probable cause of the fire is the spark from a welding machine in the inner gates.

Meanwhile, the authorities are still investigating on the cause of the incident and whether or not there is a negligence in the part of the factory management.

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XOLXOL: Factory fire in Valenzuela reaches Task Force Charlie; death toll climbs to 72
Factory fire in Valenzuela reaches Task Force Charlie; death toll climbs to 72
Fire in Valenzuela that allegedly started with welding sparks killed 70 and left 13 others missing
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