THREE people died in the fire that hit the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino on Sunday, authorities said.
Supt. Erwin Margarejo, spokesman for the Manila Police District (MPD), identified two of the fatalities as Jun Evangelista, hotel’s treasury officer; and Bill de Castro, a security intern.
The third, Marilyn Omadto, assistant treasury officer, was identified by Carmelita “Twinkle” Valdez, assistant vice president for corporate communications of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) in a press briefing.
Margarejo said one of the supposed fatalities was revived at the Manila Doctors’ Hospital where nine other victims, including the dead, were brought.
Police said initially that four people died in the fire.
In a live radio interview, Johnny Yu, Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office director (MDRRMO), said the four fatalities were among the 10 who were rushed to the Manila Doctors’ Hospital. The four were declared dead on arrival.
Yu said about 20 more people were trapped inside the hotel as rescuers scoured the building.
Motorists have been advised to avoid the roads leading to the hotel — UN Avenue, Maria Orosa and Kalaw Avenue.
Sen. Richard Gordon, who also heads the Philippine National Red Cross, tweeted that the fire, which broke out at about 9:30 a.m., was raised to fifth alarm at about 10 a.m.
“PRC currently responding to a fire that broke at Manila Pavilion Hotel. Our team dispatched two ambulance units and one fire truck. Status of fire was raised to fifth alarm as of 10:10 a.m.,” said Gordon.
Gordon said the PRC also helped in treating the victims on site.
A separate radio report said the cause of the fire has not been determined although initial reports said it could have been because of ongoing welding work on the second floor of the 22-story building.
The Manila Pavilion said on its Facebook page that it would issue a full report once an investigation into the fire was completed.
“The hotel management has taken steps to ensure the safety and security of our guests and employees,” the statement read. WITH REPORTS FROM RAADEE SAUSA, ARIC JOHN SY CUA