Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino in the Philippine capital on Sunday caught fire leaving three of its employees dead. It trapped two others and forced the evacuation of more than 300 guests, officials confirmed.
Police told that the reasons of the fire are still unclear. They are speculating that the fire that raged on for hours started in the casino on the lower floors or in an area of the hotel that was under some reconstruction.
The CCTV footage revealed the grey smoke billowing from the first and second floors of the hotel as the people were rescued from the building.
Johnny Yu, head of Manila’s disaster-response agency told reporters that at least six other people were severely injured and were brought to the hospital. The fatalities included two hotel security guards and a treasury official, he said.
Initially Yu stated that at least four people died in the fire, but later it was confirmed that one of those who were feared to be among the dead was saved by the doctors but was in a critical condition.
“The smoke is heavy and we are trying to overcome wind,” Yu said while the operation was going on.
“Our firefighters are facing a lot of difficulties,” he added.
19 people were unaccounted for but Yu said that both the security operators were trapped and they were trying to rescue them.
The areas around the hotel were blocked to allow dozens of firetrucks to approach and help fight the blaze in the heart of Manila’s tourist district.