As many as 72 bodies have been pulled from the wreckage of a Manila footwear factory that suffered a major fire accident Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing a fire official.
Search teams resumed their operations Thursday after suspending them late yesterday due to the heat and worries about the instability of the gutted factory, which made rubber slippers for Kentex Manufacturing Inc.
Police said the fire started when sparks from a welding machine set ablaze flammable chemicals near the main entrance of the factory, triggering a huge explosion.
Authorities have vowed swift action against those responsible for the mishap.
“Definitely there will be charges here, because people died,” Leonardo Espina, acting director of the Philippine National Police, was quoted as saying.
“Regardless of whether it was an accident or arson, people died. We are just determining what exactly happened so that we can clearly define what charges to file,” he said.
According to the factory owner, about 200 to 300 people worked in the building.
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