3 die, 23 hurt as Manila hotel fire rages over 9 hours

Above: A fireman receiving first aid from colleagues. He had been rescued after being trapped by thick smoke as he battled a fire that engulfed Waterfront Manila Pavilion, a high-rise hotel and casino complex yesterday. Left: Firemen fighting the fla
Above: Firemen fighting the flames at Waterfront Manila Pavilion, after a fire broke out. A helicopter was dispatched to rescue people trapped on the roof as crews battled to evacuate others from lower floors. More than 300 people fled the area.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Above: A fireman receiving first aid from colleagues. He had been rescued after being trapped by thick smoke as he battled a fire that engulfed Waterfront Manila Pavilion, a high-rise hotel and casino complex yesterday. Left: Firemen fighting the fla
Above: A fireman receiving first aid from colleagues. He had been rescued after being trapped by thick smoke as he battled a fire that engulfed Waterfront Manila Pavilion, a high-rise hotel and casino complex yesterday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MANILA • Three people were killed and 23 injured after a fire broke out in a hotel in Manila yesterday, with others plucked by helicopter from the rooftop of the building engulfed in thick black smoke.

Police and rescue officials said the fire at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion, a high-rise hotel and casino complex, began in the morning and raged for more than nine hours, forcing more than 300 people to flee the area.

Of the three who died, two were identified as hotel employees.

"The two are a security guard and a treasury officer. They were likely trapped, suffered from suffocation and were brought to the hospital but declared dead on arrival," said Mr Johnny Yu, chief of the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.

He said 23 people had been taken to hospital while two other hotel employees were missing.

Responders dispatched a helicopter to rescue people trapped on the roof as crews battled to evacuate others from lower floors.

The authorities were investigating the cause of the fire, which is believed to have begun in the casino or mezzanine area of the 21-floor hotel which regularly hosted both locals and foreigners.

Manila is one of 16 cities making up Metro Manila. Nearby cities were helping put out the blaze, its fire department said. Senior fire officer Marlon Banaag said: "This is a major fire. Those who inhaled smoke were taken to hospital."

Firefighters in the Philippine capital battled a blaze that broke out at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion yesterday morning. Three people were killed and 23 injured, while two hotel employees were missing. Officials said they are investigating the caus
Firefighters in the Philippine capital battled a blaze that broke out at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion yesterday morning. Three people were killed and 23 injured, while two hotel employees were missing. Officials said they are investigating the cause of the fire. PHOTO: REUTERS

Fires break out regularly in the Philippines, particularly in slum areas where there are virtually no safety standards. The deadliest in recent years was in suburban Manila, where 72 people died in 2015 at a rubber slipper factory.

In the city of Davao, 38 people died in a fire in December that ravaged a shopping mall and call centre.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2018, with the headline '3 die, 23 hurt as Manila hotel fire rages over 9 hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe