The Daily Manila Shimbun


Cavite blaze declared over after 46 hours: governor

February 3, 2017

After 46 hours, the fire that broke out at a company inside the Export Processing Zone Authority compound in General Trias was finally put out, according to Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla Friday.

In a press briefing aired on radio, Remulla said fire at the Home Technology Industries (HTI) was put out at 4:15 pm.

He said there is no casualty and the final tally of injured employees are 126 from a reported 155. Two of the injured were Japanese.

"41 are still in hospitals, four were discharged, zero fatalities, and 81 were outpatients,” said Remulla.

He added all 3,189 employees were accounted for by the human resource of HTI . Remulla assured there will be no cover up in the investigation..

"There are no more missing (employees). We assure that there will be no cover up," he said.

Authorities will conduct mopping and investigation in the area on Saturday.

He said they are not setting aside the possibility that someone was trapped. That is why they will prepare more than 200 body bags.

"We are not setting aside the possibility that someone might be trap inside," he said.

He said Cavite  and EPZA police will start interviewing 81 outpatients to determine if there is criminal negligence.

The crisis management committee said damage to properties may reach up to 10 or 15 billion pesos.

Meanwhile, EPZA Administrator Nory Tañaga said in a radio interview HTI factory passed their fire safety inspection last June 23, 2016.

“They are compliant. They have water sprinkler, extinguisher. The BFP’s requirement, that is also are checklist, and they were compliant,” she said

The company conducts a fire drill twice a year in compliance with PEZA's requirement, she added.

“In fact, the HRD group of companies, of which HTI is under, have their own fire station, and they have six fire trucks. They also have firefighting team. Their equipments are complete,” she added.

However, given the gravity of fire, she said it may be high-time for them to review their fire safety requirements.

“Maybe we can revisit we have to enhance the requirements,” she said. “We will discuss it with the Bureau of Fire Protection,” she said.

She said only the building of HTI which occupies six hectares of the 88 hectares own by the House Research Development group of companies were affected.

The fire started Wednesday evening. Initial report showed a panel saw which overheated caused fire at the second floor of the factory. Ella Dionisio/DMS