A humongous fire ignited in a shopping mall in the Philippines city of Davao, trapping around 37 people in its wake. The mayor reported that firefighters were able to pull out at least one person but are relentlessly looking for the others.
Unfortunately, the vice mayor, Paolo Duterte, stated that there was zero chance of survival for those stuck. He explained, “Our firefighters are still struggling to find a way in as the fire is still burning.”
The fire started early Sunday morning, but firefighters haven’t found a way to enter the mall building.
Mayor Inday Sara Duterte told the firefighters, “Do not stop until you find the 37.” She then called the fire an “unfortunate incident.” Although one body has been found, her priority is to get to all the others to safety.
The fire started while city officials and emergency-relief workers attempted to rescue citizens struggling from flash floods and landslides. These disasters were from the Tropical Storm Tembin that took place somewhere else. It violently rained and stormed in the eastern part of Mindanao. The death toll stood at 231, with many more missing.
Mr. Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said that the President “assured the relatives of the victims that the government would extend to help.”
Although the cause of the fire is still not known, it has been found out that it started near a furniture store on the third floor. During this time, many locals were shopping for Christmas presents, while employees got ready for the holidays. Officials said that many of the people trapped had worked at the call center in the mall.
24 hours after the fire started, the mall was still blazing and it became too deadly to enter.
Thea Septaan Padua, a spokeswoman for the mall, claimed that no deaths had been confirmed and that they were “coordinating with the authorities.”
Authorities have been wary because of fears that Islamic militants could possibly harm malls amidst other public areas. One devastating event was when militants established their loyalty to the Islamic state and bombed a night market in the city of Davao, which killed 15 people.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 24, 2017