Cavite blaze blamed on machine failure

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THE Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) attributed to a machine failure the massive fire that gutted the Japanese-run House Technology Industries (HTI) factory at the Cavite Economic Zone compound in General Trias City.

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BLAZE VICTIMS Cavite Gov. Jesus Crispin Remulla shows a list of factory employees confined in hospitals after the blaze in a Japanese-owned factory on Thursday. PHOTO BY BOY JOSUE

Employees told authorities they heard a loud explosion from the first floor of the factory building before the fire.
BFP chief Bobby Baruelo said the factory contained combustible materials, causing the blaze to immediately spread.

There was no reported death but the number of injured reached 126; of this number, 40 remain confined and six were in critical condition at the intensive care unit of a local hospital.

Cavite Gov. Jesus Crispin Remulla apologized for saying earlier that there was one fatality, noting that officials from the field did not clarify that the person who died in a hospital on Thursday night was not a fire victim.

“It was a mistake since information relayed to us was limited,” he said in a media briefing.

Based on the last headcount of employees, three people have yet to be accounted for, he added.

Over 10,000 employees were expected to lose their jobs after the Wednesday night blaze that was declared fire out only on Friday afternoon.

Damage to the six-hectare facility was estimated at P15 million.

Remulla gave the assurance that the provincial government would extend assistance to the affected workers, especially to those who were badly injured and may not be able to return to work immediately.

The HTI, along with the Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Social Welfare and Development, also pledged assistance to the victims.

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