Death toll from Philippines factory fire rises to 72

Death toll from fire in Valenzuela rubber slipper factory rises to at least 72, with 13 people still missing

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Philippino officials announced on Thursday that the death toll from a fire at a rubber slipper factory in a suburb of the Philippine capital of Manila has risen to at least 72, with at least 13 people still missing.

At least 31 bodies were recovered after the fire which razed the factory was brought under control after five hours.

Mayor of the city Valenzuela in the Manila metropolitan area, Rexlon Gatchalian, said he hoped some of the missing people - who were trapped by the flames - had managed to escape the factory.

There have been conflicting reports on the number of deaths and missing people since the fire broke out in the factory, which employs about 200 to 300 people, according to its owner.

According to survivors, many of the workers in the factory were unable to escape due to heavy smoke which blocking the entrance.

They said many of the victims had died of suffocation, adding that portions of the wall and roof on the second floor had collapsed and hit some of the workers.

TRTWorld and agencies