NCCC Mall: Dozens feared dead in shopping centre fire

President Rodrigo Duterte breaks down in tears with victims as officials say 37 feared dead in southern city.

    The fire was still burning before dawn on Sunday morning, preventing firefighters from entering [Manman Dejeto/Associated Press]
    The fire was still burning before dawn on Sunday morning, preventing firefighters from entering [Manman Dejeto/Associated Press]

    At least 37 people are believed to have died in a fire that engulfed a shopping mall in the southern Philippines, according to government officials.

    The fire broke out Saturday morning in Davao City on the third floor of the New City Commercial Center, trapping shoppers inside.

    President Rodrigo Duterte met victims at the scene, about 1,000km southeast of the capital Manila.

    The Philippines leader previously served as Davao's mayor for more than 20 years. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Duterte broke down in tears as he comforted victims.

    There was "zero" chance of survival for the missing, said Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, the president's eldest son, writing on Facebook.

    Firefighters have recovered one body from the scene so far.

    It is not clear what caused the blaze, which spread to a call centre on the top floor.

    The fire was still burning before dawn on Sunday morning, preventing firefighters from entering other areas of the four-storey shopping centre.

    The fire comes as the Philippines struggles to deal with the devastating impact caused by Tropical Storm Tembin, which led to mudslides and flash floods on the country's second largest island, Mindanao, on Friday.

    At least 200 people are feared dead and hundreds more are missing as a result of the storm. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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