Manila’s Pavilion Hotel and Casino Fire Caused 5 Deaths
A fire at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino caused the death of 5 people. Firefighters continue to pull bodies from the hotel-casino, so the toll might rise in the next 24 hours.
More than 300 hotel guests and employees have been evacuated from the Manila Pavilion. Some of the guests, which included foreign tourists, had to be evacuated via helicopter.
Two hotel security guards and a treasury officer at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion were among the dead in the first reports from the scene of the fire. Since, two other deceased were found amid the wreckage. In the aftermath of the fire, PACGOR chairperson Andrea Domingo said that the families of the deceased will receive P100,000 in aid.
Johnny Yu: “Smoke Is Very Heavy”
Johnny Yu, the director of Manila’s Disaster Response Agency, said 6 other people were rushed to the hospital due to smoke inhalation. Yu said that one person was pronounced dead at the scene, but later was revived by doctors at the hospital. That person remains in critical condition.
Mr. Yu said, “The smoke is very heavy and, second, there’s the wind that we’re trying to overcome. Our firefighters are having a lot of difficulty.”
The Disaster Response director originally said that at least 19 people remain unaccounted for. A couple of those missing people were later identified as dead. Given the time since Yu’s original statement, it is assumed that the bulk of the 19 people later escaped the fire.
Duterte Surveyed the Scene
President Rodrigo Duterte made a helicopter flight over the smoking hotel-casino on Sunday during a flight back to Manila from the north of the Philippines. Duterte had been to the Philippine Military Academy to make a speech to graduates.
Manila’s police and firefighters have blocked off approaches to the hotel. Manila Pavilion is located in the Ermite tourist and commercial district, so much of Ermita District is closed down at the moment. Dozens of fire trucks are on the scene to fight the blaze.
Cause of Waterfront Pavilion Fire
No cause of the fire has been announced at present. Investigators will need to review the fire site after Bureau of Fire Protection firefighters put out the blaze.
Early speculation is the fire either could have started inside the casino or in the mezzanine area, which is under renovation at the moment. The mezzanine is higher up, while the casino is on the lower floors of the complex.
Philippine Mass Fires in Recent Years
Philippine cities are no stranger to fires. In 2015, a fire at a Manila slipper factory killed 72 people. In December 2017, a fire in a Davoa shopping mall and call center killed 38 people.
Even Manila casinos have been ravaged by fire in the past year. Resorts World Manila was the target of a robbery attempt and arson case in June 2017. The robber eventually set fire to gaming tables in Resorts World and the resulting fire killed 36 people, who died of smoke inhalation while rushing to the exits.
Resorts World Manila Fire
This is the second time in less than a calendar year that Manila casinos have been engulfed in fire. Resorts World Manila was set on fire by a robber in June 2017, killing 38. PACGOR officials were quick to point out that the Casino Pavilion fire is nothing like the Resorts World Manila fire, which was caused by a criminal.
Sixth Victim Dies in Fire
Updating the previous report, Carmelita Valdez, PACGOR’s Assistant VP for Communications, said that a sixth victim died in the fire: Jennilyn Figueroa. Mrs. Valdez said that Jennilyn Figueroa was a 28-year old internal security staff member at the Casino Filipino Pavilion.
In all, the resort fire raged for two days before firefighters could put out the blaze. Twenty people were injured in the fire. The Philippine Department of Justice has ordered an investigation to determine who is responsible and liable for the massive fire.