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(Updated 3:16 p.m.) All except one of the 74 victims who died in the factory fire in Valenzuela City have been identified, an official from the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday.
At a press briefing, Senior Superintendent Emmanuel Aranas, PNP Crime Laboratory deputy director, said 73 of the victims were identified, almost two months after the deadly fire that hit the factor of Kentex Manufacturing Corp.
Aranas said they could not extract DNA sample from "victim no. 35," who remains unidentified.
PSSUPT Aranas: We cannot extract DNA from victim no. 35, therefore, unidentified
— PNP-PIO (@pnppio) July 7, 2015
The death toll is two more than the 72 victims in earlier reports. Aside from the unidentified victim, there were 28 male victims, while 45 were female.
According to Aranas, they found other small bone remnants at the second floor during their final search onsite, conducted four times last month.
"We insisted na kahit dangerous 'yung area ay nag-search ulit kami right after maalis 'yung mga nakaharang na debris para ma-identify lahat ng victims," he said.
Among the pieces they found were a fragmented tibia bone recovered on the opposite side of the room where most of the burnt bodies were recovered.
The new samples were subjected to DNA testing, and were identified to have belonged to Jony Descallar and Marvy Marcelino.
Aranas earlier said it may take a month to identify the victims via DNA testing, as most of them were burned beyond recognition.
He added that they have explained to the families that such examination was needed before they could claim the body of their loved ones for the burial.
Last week, a team from the Department of Justice finished its investigation on the fire, findings of which have been submitted to Secretary Leila de Lima for review.
Malacañang has said that the probe will continue even after some of the victims' relatives agreed to a P151,000 settlement with the company. — Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/RSJ, GMA News