Sunday, December 19, 2010

Official: Tuguegarao fire death toll climbs to 16

The death toll from Sunday's fire that hit a pension house in Tuguegarao City in the northern Philippine province of Cagayan rose to 16 after one of the survivors succumbed to asthma complications.

Cagayan Valley (Region 2) deputy regional fire chief Senior Superintendent Sergio Soriano Jr. described the fatality as one of the nursing students who survived the fire.

"Kanina may na-receive akong info ang isang estudyante nadala sa hospital dahil may asthma, na-complicate. Sampu na ang nursing students, 16 na ang namatay (I just received a report that one of the students who survived the fire and was brought to a hospital succumbed to asthma complications. That makes 10 nursing students who died and 16 fatalities overall)," Soriano said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He did not immediately name the student who died.

Soriano also said he has given his men 24 hours to finalize their findings on the incident that occurred before dawn Sunday.

Also, he said they are verifying information that the mayor's permit for the "Bed and Breakfast" pension house had already been put on hold before the fire occurred.

He said their initial findings showed the fire may have stemmed from an electrical short circuit at a store selling motorcycle parts near the hotel.

"Yun pa rin, nagsimula sa baba, overloaded na kuryente. Naroon ang imbakan ng gasolina (Our initial findings indicated the fire started at the ground floor. It may have stemmed from an electrical short circuit, with the sparks hitting containers of gasoline)," Soriano said. — RSJ, GMANews.TV

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