Saturday, December 18, 2010

9 nursing students feared dead in Cagayan hotel fire

SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela — Nine bodies are still unaccounted for after a fire broke out in a hotel in Tuguegarao City before dawn Sunday.

Unconfirmed reports show that 36 nursing students from University of La Salette (ULS) in Santiago City, who were supposed to take the board exams Sunday, were staying at Sunshine Bed and Breakfast Hotel in the corner of Mabini and Luna streets in downtown Tuguegarao.

Aida Mariano, mother of one of the students from this city told GMANews.TV her daughter talked to her on the phone at around 3 a.m. and said nine of her classmates were trapped inside the blazing five-story hotel.

“Fatima was crying when she called me up. She said nine of her friends did not make it to the door. She was complaining something about locked exit doorways and fire extinguishers that are not working. Please let us pray for them"

Other students from Aldersgate College in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya were also billeted in the same hotel, but their whereabouts could not be confirmed as this posting.

Romeo Opido, a class instructor with ULS, confirmed six students were rushed to a hospital for treatment of burns, while the names of names of the nine missing students have been withheld pending further investigation, according to Bombo Radyo Tuguegarao.

Meanwhile, despite the tragic turn of events the nursing board examinations will push through.

Mariano said she tried to reach her daughter again but was told that a proctor who watches over students taking examinations had already sequestered Fatima’s mobile phone — which meant the exams were proceeding as scheduled.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire that razed the hotel up to the fifth floor. — VS, GMANews.TV

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