A total of 72 people were confirmed dead after a fire hit a slippers factory in Valenzuela City on Wednesday
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas told the press that 72 people were confirmed dead after the building of Kentex Manufacturing Inc. went on fire. The fire broke at about noon.
Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also confirmed the total number of fatalities to international news agency Agence France-Press. The spokesperson of Gatchalian said it remained unclear if there were others missing.
The mayor also said that several relatives of the business owner were are among the people who died. He added that the bodies recovered are beyond recognition.
“An investigation is ongoing right now. It will be unfair to assign liability at this point. We are looking at all angles. We will see to it that those who are liable will be punished,” said Gatchalian.
Roxas said he has tasked agencies under his department to conduct a thorough investigation on the matter to clarify if the reports that a spark from a machine ignited the surrounding chemical is the cause of the fire.
He also asked question why a large percentage of casualties were the workers located at the second floor.
“This is extraordinary. Seventy two died. Why were 69 of the 72 fatalities in the second floor? Why were they trapped there?” Roxas said.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina also said someone must be held liable and his team is now working their way to determine what really happened.