Thick smoke still billows 12 hours after a huge fire engulfed the House Technology Industries (HTI) at the Cavite Export Processing Zone Authority (CEPZA).
Manny Pueblo, Rosario municipal disaster risk reduction and management officer (MDRRMO), said that neighbors of the manufacturing plant heard a loud explosion from the ground floor of the building around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Pueblo said workers then saw flames that gradually engulfed the building.
Firefighters from Rosario and General Trias City which borders the Cavite Ecozone rushed to the area.
By 2 a.m. on Thursday, Bureau of Protection (BFP) and EPZA firefighters put out the blaze and declared that the fire was under control.
BFP officials said the origin of the blaze has yet to be determined. Fire officers and local disaster risk reduction and management personnel had a hard time entering the area because of the thick smoke that blanketed the plant site.
Calabarzon civil defense officer Lorenzo Haveria around 84 workers who sustained burn injuries were rushed to nearby hospitals.
About 57 were treated at the Divine Grace Hospital while 27 others were admitted to the General Trias Maternity Hospital.
On Thursday dawn, some 20 of the injured victims were sent home after treatment of minor burns while 64 others were confined at the hospitals due to serious burn injuries.
The factory employed an estimated 6,000 workers.
HTI is a Japanese manufacturing plant specializing in the assembly of prefabricated housing construction materials and production technologies. PNA