Manila: Thirty-seven people were likely killed in a fire that engulfed a shopping mall in the southern Philippine city of Davao, the local vice mayor said on Sunday.
The Bureau of Fire Protection ground commander at the scene said the chances of the 37 surviving were “zero”, Paolo Duterte, the 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 in a call centre on the top floor, Ralph Canoy, a police officer in the district, told AFP.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who served as mayor of Davao for about two decades and continues to live in the city, visited the mall on Saturday night to comfort relatives of the victims, one of his aides told AFP.
Davao is the biggest city in the southern Philippines. It is about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) south of Manila.