AT LEAST two Japanese executives and more than a hundred employees were injured when fire swept through House Technology Industries within the Philippine Economic Zone Authority in Rosario, Cavite, Wednesday night, officials said.
They said they were still to determine how many of the more than 5,000 workers on second shift were trapped by the blaze that broke out on the second floor and spread quickly to the third floor around 6 p.m.
The injured Japanese nationals were identified as Nahgae Hideki, 44, and Tushimitsu Endo, 66, technical supervisor and adviser, respectively, of House Technology Industries, a company that makes pre-fabricated house parts like bay windows and floor panels.
An initial 104 employees suffered severe burn injuries and were taken to the Divine Grace Medical Center and General Trias Pediatric Hospital in Tejero village.
Ten of the 104 victims were reported in critical condition.
Some of the survivors said the fire started at the panel saw section on the second floor and was followed by an explosion after the power went out.
Some of them said they crawled on top of dead bodies to get out while the employees on the third floor jumped down.
The fire was put under control around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, but the firemen failed to quickly enter the gutted area as smoke was still billowing inside the building.
Peza Director-General Charito Plaza said there were 6,000 to 7,000 employees working when the fire broke out.