72 Dead in Valenzuela Footwear Factory Fire

On May 14 Thursday night, fire in a footwear factory in Valenzuela City killed 72 victims . Out of the accounted remains,   36 were female ; 28 were male; and 5 remain unidentified.

Investigations continue to determine what transpired in this accident that resulted  to workers burnt beyond recognition. Officials are running DNA tests to identify the bodies buried in the factory fire incident.

Valenzuela Footwear Factory fire
Photo from www.sunstar.com.ph

According to police investigators, the DNA testing and matching would take too long since some of the victims’ relatives would come from provinces. The Valenzuela City government on the other hand, said they would inform the victims’ relatives upon identification for final burial services.

On-going investigations are now being conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) as to who should be held responsible for the Valenzuela Footwear Factory fire tragedy.

On DILG’s side, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, said that investigators were interrogated on details pertaining to last fire inspection conducted in the factory; existence of welding project inside the compound with flammable materials; steel barriers on the second floor of the site; and large number of people in the specific area where the casualties were.

BFP was appointed by DILG to handle the inquest hours after Valenzuela city Fire Marshall Supt. Mel Jose Lagan and Senior Inspector Ed-groover Oculam, chief of the city’s fire safety enforcement section, were relieved from their posts to give way to an impartial investigation.

According to Lagan, Records show that Valenzuela footwear factory registered as  Kentex Manufacturing Corporation submitted the latest safety assessment and the establishment had ample exit points .

However,it is suspected that Kentex may have committed other fire safety violations. Among the alleged violations were overcrowding after annual inspection and lack of a welding permit.

DILG is set to delve into other angle such as looking into the factory’s “pakyawan system”.


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