Multiple dead as fire engulfs hotel in Manila's tourist precinct

BULACAN. Rescuers sift through the debris following a crash upon takeoff of a Piper PA-23 Apache six-seater twin-engine light aircraft Saturday

Three people were killed and 23 injured by a major hotel fire in the Philippine capital Manila on Sunday, with others plucked by helicopter from the rooftop of the building engulfed in thick black smoke, authorities said.

Of the 4 confirmed dead, two worked at the hotel - a security guard and a casino employee.

The BFP said the fire started at about 9:30 a.m. local time and the blaze was destroying the Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino along United Nations Avenue in Manila City.

Johnny Yu, who heads Manila's disaster-response agency, said that at least six other people were overwhelmed by heavy smoke and brought to a hospital.

The death toll had been reduced from four to three, he said.

"We have reports coming in from the Bureau of Fire Protection that they saw from the fifth floor 19 to 20 trapped victims but they are alive", Yu said. Some people had to be resued by a helicopter.

President Duterte has just attended the Commencement Exercises of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alab-Tala Class of 2018 in Baguio City this morning until noon when he made a decision to look into the situation along United Nations Avenue in Manila Sunday afternoon. "There were those who inhaled the smoke and were brought to the hospital", senior fire officer Marlon Banaag told AFP.

The fire in the 340-room hotel erupted on Sunday morning.

The deadliest in recent years was in suburban Manila where 72 people died in 2015 at a factory which makes rubber slippers.

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