Fire hits Philippine mall; 1 dead, dozens missing
DAVAO, Philippines — Firefighters recovered a body from a shopping mall in the southern Philippines city of Davao after a blaze broke out on Saturday, according to a state-run media outlet.
The Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported the recovery of “one charred body” from the fourth floor of the New City Commercial Center (NCCC) mall on Sunday. Another 36 people remain missing and are feared dead.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said in a press conference that the Bureau of Fire and Protection would continue its efforts to recover those believed missing. “They will not stop until they [find] the 36 there,” she said, according to PNA.
The mayor also confirmed that all 37 of the people caught in the fire were call center agents for Survey Sampling International (SSI), a business process outsourcing company located on the fourth floor of the mall.
The fire started Saturday morning. in the third floor of the NCCC mall, according to CNN Philippines, not long before the mall was set to open.
President Rodrigo Duterte said during a meeting with the families of the missing that there was “zero chance of survival,” according to PNA.
Davao is Duterte’s hometown. He was mayor of Davao City and still has a residence there.
Sunday morning, Emmanuel Jaldon, the chief operating officer for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said firefighters were in the last phase before declaring the fire out. He said the fire was “technically contained.”
Authorities have not provided a cause of the fire.
The fire struck as the Philippines reels from a storm that has killed dozens and caused flooding and landslides.
“Please continue to pray for everyone’s safety,” the mall’s management said in a statement Saturday, CNN Philippines reported.
The city is about 1,514 kilometers (941 miles) south of Manila.