5 Killed in Manila hotel fire, 23 injured

Philippines hotel fire
Firefighters douse water after a fire engulfed the Manila Pavilon hotel in Metro Manila. Reuters

A fire broke out on Sunday morning in Manila, leaving behind five people killed, 23 injured and two people still missing. A helicopter, rushed to rescue the survivors from the rooftop of the building, was able to evacuate others immediately.

Police and the rescue team said the fire at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion, which is located at the United Nations Avenue, started on Sunday morning and forced more than 300 people to evacuate the area immediately, as the fire raged continuously for more than 9 hours.

Johnny Yu, the chief of the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said that of the three who were killed, one was a security guard and another was a treasury officer. He said both of them were employees of the hotel who were trapped inside and suffered suffocation. Though they were rescued and rushed to a hospital, they were declared dead by then by the doctors.

He said nearly 23 people were taken to hospital with injuries and that two other hotel employees are still missing. A helicopter, that was sent to rescue survivors who were trapped on the roof of the hotel, have been saved but the rescue team faced difficulties to evacuate people trapped in the lower floors, he explained.

Even though an investigation is underway to find out the cause of the fire, reports claimed that it might have been triggered in the casino or mezzanine area of the hotel. Nearby fire departments were also pressed into service to help extinguish the fire.

Marlon Banaag, a senior fire officer said that it was a major fire incident that took place in the city and those who inhaled the smoke were taken to hospital as soon as they were rescued by the officials.

In the Philippines, fire incidents have been reported frequently allegedly owing to poor safety standards. In February 2018, Rappler reported a similar fire incident in a warehouse and residential area at Jenny's Avenue, Barangay Rosario in Pasig City.

In December 2017, a shopping mall in Davao caught fire suddenly and at least 37 people were killed, ABC reported.