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Two more bodies believed trapped in gutted Kentex factory

Investigators will return to the fire-gutted Kentex slipper factory in Valenzuela City to look for two more bodies believed to be still buried in the debris, a police official said Wednesday.

According to Senior Supt. Emmanuel Aranas, deputy chief of the Philippine National Police's Crime Laboratory, two families have sought assistance in locating the bodies of two workers who might have also been trapped in the factory during the May 13 incident.

“The local government of Valenzuela City was told of the two more bodies that are not retrieved yet," Aranas said. "They then informed the Crime Laboratory about it."

Seventy-two people, most of them workers, perished in the incident that started when sparks from a welding machine set ablaze flammable chemicals near the main entrance of the factory.

Aranas said it is possible that the two cadavers are buried under the roof of the building that crashed during the blaze. “So we will be sending representatives there to check again,” he said.

He admitted that the collapsed roof was not thoroughly checked by their forensic experts during the investigation due to security issues.

“It’s too risky for our personnel to remove the roof and other debris at the second floor because the floor was already crumbling,” he said.

Windows on the factory's second floor, where most victims were found, were covered with steel mesh that was meant to stop workers from stealing slippers by tossing them out, according to an earlier report by Reuters.

Survivors said the factory's main gate was padlocked with only a small door open when the fire broke out. Some survivors climbed over a perimeter wall to get out.

Meanwhile, Aranas said only one of 69 cadavers that were burned beyond recognition has yet to be identified through DNA testing. —KBK, GMA News