ThreeFilipinos were killed while five others were hurt Tuesday in a fire that broke out in a food factory in Taiwan, the Manila Economic Cultural Office said Thursday.
MECO chair Silvestre Bello III identified the fatalities as Renato Larua, 30, of Cavite; Nancy Revilla of Marinduque; and Aroma Miranda of Tarlac. Their families, he said, have been informed of the tragic incident.
Bello said the three were killed after fire broke out at the second floor of Lian-Hwa Foods Corporation in Changhua County in central Taiwan at about 6 a.m. on Tuesday.
“My heart goes out to them in their hour of extreme sorrow,” Bello said in a statement.
The MECO chair assured the victims’ families of assistance both from the Philippine and Taiwanese governments.
“We are in close coordination with police authorities regarding the incident and investigation, and the swift repatriation of the remains of those who died,” he said.
Five other Filipino workers—Sheila May Abas, Jessie Boy Samson, Maricris Fernando, Rodel Uttao, and Santiago Suba Jr.—were hospitalized following the fire.
According to Bello, the injured Filipino workers are in stable condition, except for Fernando who is in the intensive care unit (ICU).
“They are still under observation in different hospitals. They suffered severe carbon monoxide poisoning and are currently undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy,” said Bello, who visited the injured Filipinos in the hospital.
Per an unidentified attending nurse, Bello said the feedback “is four of them are already conscious, stable, and recovering well. On the other hand, there is still concern regarding the condition of OFW Fernando since she is still in ICU and has not yet regained consciousness. During our visit yesterday, she was undergoing dialysis.”
Bello, citing a report from an ICU nurse, said Fernando’s urine discharge is very minimal, thus the need for dialysis.
He said a representative of Lian-Hwa Foods Corporation also checked on Fernando’s condition a day ago.
Bello’s office is also preparing to release P5,000 to the victims of the fire to help on their personal expenses, while the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is also coordinating with Taiwanese authorities and the employers for the necessary documentary requirements for the available benefits.
MECO Taichung, for its part, is also onboard for the shipment of remains, Bello said.
In addition to the benefits due from the employer of the victims, Bello said the victims are also entitled to benefits from OWWA such as P200,000 death benefit, P20,000 burial benefit, education and livelihood assistance, training for members of the families, and compulsory insurance.