7 dead, thousands homeless in Manila fires

maniala.jpg

At least seven people were killed and thousands left homeless as two fires struck the Philippine capital on Christmas Day, sparking riots as a slum went up in flames, Manila’s fire marshal said today.

Six bodies were recovered and two other people were missing as a blaze erupted at dawn in a row of old apartments in the Baler section of northern Manila, said chief superintendent Santiago Laguna.

Suspected arsonists meanwhile set off a second blaze at a sprawling shantytown across the city, sparking rioting that left one man dead and two others arrested, he said in an interview that aired over DZBB radio.

“They (residents) started grabbing hoses from our firefighters, who could not do anything as they feared for their own safety,” Laguna said.

A man was beaten up and later died from his injuries in the melee as the blaze consumed the shantytown in the San Juan district, he added.

“They mistook him for a fireman,” he said of the victim, adding two suspected rioters were also arrested.

Laguna said residents were apparently infuriated by the delayed arrival of firefighters and took it upon themselves to grab firehoses to aim at their blazing shanties.

However he said the residents were themselves to blame.

“Our firetrucks had difficulty entering the narrow streets that were blocked by parked cars and carts,” he said.

“Our firefighters had to drag the hoses into the alleys, where they were attacked.”

The shantytown blaze left some 2,000 families homeless, he said, a figure that equates to at least 8,000 people.

An AFP photographer on the scene saw hundreds of homeless survivors huddled on the floor of two basketball courts nearby.

Laguna said the cause of the apartment blaze was under investigation, though he added electrical circuits had probably overloaded from increased use during Christmas Eve parties across the metropolis of 14 million people.

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/216679" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-b3e905761e941d3339a296d74a7162b3" value="form-b3e905761e941d3339a296d74a7162b3" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="81533667" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.