Hundreds remain unaccounted for in the fire that hit the House Technology Industries (HTI) factory at the Cavite Economic Processing Zone in Rosario, according to former Cavite governor Jonvic Remulla.
"We are all one tonight in prayer for those who perished and are yet to be accounted for in the HTI fire. No words are enough to comfort, no actions enough to retrieve the loss we all feel tonight," Remulla posted on his social media accounts.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), meanwhile, said that based on initial investigation, there were more than 100 employees who were brought to Divine Grace Hospital in General Trias City for treatment.
GMA News' Mav Gonzales reported an update on "Unang Balita" at 5 a.m. on Thursday, saying that after more than 12 hours, BFP personnel continue to work on the fire that started around 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Based on initial information the fire started with the power saw that malfunctioned.
Fire Senior Supt. Sergio Soriano Jr., Calabarzon BFP regional director, said, "Biglang nagkalat daw 'yung apoy. Andun 'yung mga pintura, insulator. Madali kasing magkalat ang apoy sa ganung elemento."
The BFP raised the fire alarm to Task Force Delta around midnight when the fire reached the third floor of the establishment.
It could not yet be determined whether there are fatalities as officials still have to wait until a fire out has been declared.
However, Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) personnel were already deployed to the area.
There are several victims who are in critical condition.
It was also reported that there were employees who jumped from the window while others suffered severe burns in various parts of the body.
Arnie Villaluz, a relative of one of the victims, said, "Mabilis lang daw 'yung pangyayari. Nung pinalabas niya mga tao niya, 'yung styro sa taas nila nasunog. Seconds lang daw. Nasa third floor pa sila kaya nasunog 'yung ganito niya."
The family of Lumberto Escorido Jr., who came all the way from Batangas, complained, "'Yung pasyente namin alas sais pa diyan. 'Di naman inaasikaso."
A sibling of Adrian Escorido said, "Giniginaw na sa loob. Panay ang punta ko. Meron pa raw nakapasok sa OR. Ang gusto namin malunasan naman kasi sunog na sunog na eh."
"Nagmi-meeting daw sila. Biglang parang may sumabog. Nagkagulo na sila," he added.
The management of HTI said they will shoulder the cost of medical treatment of those injured including at least 44 people undergoing treatment at the hospital.
As of posting time, the cost of damage is not yet known.
The HTI facility, which was also hit by fire four years ago, will be investigated for probable lapses in the implementation of fire safety measures.
According to Cavite Gov. Boying Remulla, the economic zone is under its own charter and is not under the jurisdiction of the BFP.
"PEZA is a special zone which has its own charter. It is not under control ng local government. Hindi probinsya or city ang may control ng fire inspection. Fire inspection permits (are) given by PEZA and they have their own firefighting units," he said. — BAP/JST/KG, GMA News