MANILA, Philippines — Authorities continue to search for the 36 individuals who died in a fire incident at the New City Commercial Center (NCCC) Mall in Davao City over the weekend.
On Sunday, firemen found the remains of 32-year old Jeffrey Sismar, one of the 37 employees of the SSI call center firm who have been trapped on the fourth floor of the mall while the fire was raging.
Meanwhile, the families of the victims are still waiting at the holding area near the authorities to immediately gather information about their loved ones trapped inside the mall.
One of them is Lilia Chan Balino, who waited the whole day to get information about her missing niece, Nancy Loyd Abad, one of the employees of the call center firm.
“Married siya yung asawa niya tinatawagan niya nag ring raw ang phone isang beses pero yun lang,” said Balino.
(She is married. Her husband had been calling her. Her phone had rung only once and that was it.)
Based on the initial investigation of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the fire broke out on the third floor or the furniture section of the mall at past 3 in the afternoon last Saturday, which immediately eventually reached general alarm.
“When this happened, we were there. When we opened the door, there was smoke. We can no longer see anything. That’s why we closed the door anew. We attempted to exit at the employees entrance. There’s where several people exited. Halfway through the office, we realized that we can no longer pass through. That’s why we returned inside. Then someone gave us instruction to use a wet handkerchief to cover our nose and mouth to prevent suffocation. That’s why we keep on returning to the CR to keep our handkerchiefs wet,” said Jaz Careyas, a survivor SSI agent.
The employees of a call center firm on the fourth floor were not able to make it out.
For now, the BFP continues to investigate the cause of the fire and the number of damages to properties. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
Manila blaze kills 3
Various groups holding rescue operation after a fire breaks out at a commercial building in Santa Cruz, Manila.
MANILA, Philippines — Three men have died after being trapped inside a burning commercial building in Santa Cruz, Manila at 3 a.m. Friday.
The victims were identified as Angelito Humarez, Zardy Luna, and Dennis Magdaet.
Humarez and Luna were uncle and nephew respectively. Luna was the owner of the doomed establishment while Magdaet was his employee
According to the victims’ families, they were sleeping when the fire suddenly broke out.
“Bigla nga may pumutok tapos biglang umapoy kaagad. Ang bilis ng apoy; malakas (There was an explosion then it quickly blazed. The fire spread fast; it was strong),” said Imee Reyes, a relative of one of the victims.
The fire reached second alarm and claimed five more commercial units.
“Difficulty natin diyan yung access, pero stock pile kasi iyan ng mga linoleum. Highly combustible kasi yun tska styro,” Manila City District Fire Marshall, F/SSupt. Jonas R. Silvano said.
(The difficult part was finding access. It was a stockpile of linoleum and styro which are highly combustible.)
It was past 6 am when authorities finally brought the fire under control. — Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue
Amateur videos on social media show bushfire raging in Sydney
An emergency warning was reissued on Sunday for an out-of-control bushfire that is raging across parts of the Australian city of Sydney. REUTERS
Amateur videos uploaded to the internet on Sunday and Monday showed an out-of-control bush fire that has been raging across the Australian city of Sydney.
In one video, a large cloud of smoke rises over the trees in the Panania area in the southwest of the city.
Nearby in Menai, firefighters are seen working in a residential neighborhood as smoke rises.
Firemen are reportedly working to control the blaze that started on Saturday and has since burned almost 3,000 hectares.
Local media said authorities are investigating the cause of the fire and are looking into the angle that arsonist may have triggered the blaze. — Reuters
Authorities launch manhunt for suspect behind Davao chemical leak
Various unit of responders ready to react at the scene where a chemical leaked in Barangay Sasa, Davao City . Photo Courtesy: Task Force Davao / Annette Maligad
The Davao City police have launched a massive manhunt operation to capture the person behind a chemical gas leak in Sto. Niño Riverside, Barangay Sasa in Davao City.
Fifteen bottles filled with agricultural chemical were found buried in a shallow pit inside a private compound in the area. The chemical fumes caused at least 42 individuals, including children, to fall ill.
The Davao City police is now tracking the whereabouts of the suspect identified as Regil Daya a.k.a Duco.
The seized chemicals were brought to the local environmental bureau for proper disposal. — UNTV News & Rescue