mall

Philippines mall fire kills 37

MNA International Desk: Thirty-seven people were believed killed in a fire that engulfed a shopping mall in the southern Philippine city of Davao, local authorities said on Sunday.

A Bureau of Fire Protection commander at the scene said the chances of the 37 surviving were “zero”, Paolo Duterte, Davao’s vice mayor, who is also the president’s son, wrote in a Facebook post.

The blaze started at the four-storey NCCC Mall on Saturday morning and people were trapped inside, including at a call centre on the top floor, Ralph Canoy, a police officer in the district, told AFP.

Canoy said the fire was still going before dawn on Sunday morning, nearly 24 hours later.

Davao, with a population of about 1.5 million people, is the biggest city in the southern Philippines. It is about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) south of Manila, the nation’s capital.

The fire adds more misery to the mainly Catholic Philippines at Christmas, with a tropical storm killing at least 182 people and displacing tens of thousands of others in recent days.

Many of those killed in the storm were also in the southern region of Mindanao.

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