11 of 17 Butuan fire victims yet to be identified


Firefighters battle an early morning blaze at a garment store in Butuan City Wednesday. The inferno at the three-storey clothing store killed at least 17 employees, most of whom were women who were asleep and trapped on the top floor. AP

MANILA, Philippines—Forensic experts have yet to determine more than half of the victims who died from the fire that gutted a commercial establishment in Butuan City Wednesday, a police spokesman said Thursday.

Superintendent Martin Gamba, Caraga police spokesman, said only six from the 17 victims from the fire that razed a garment store along the Montilla Boulevard in Butuan City around 3:55 a.m. Wednesday have been positively identified by their families through their clothes and accessories.

In the case of the 11 other victims, Gamba said investigators are having a difficulty in determining who’s who mainly due to the condition of their remains.

“[The bodies are] beyond recognition,” he said, adding that the list of names of those identified will be supplied later on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in its latest report, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council identified all the names of the victims as follows: Rogelyn Mantubacan, Jonalie Amor, Judelyn Ore, Villa Rose Dumagpi, Ellenie Ocoy, Prences Grace Sayre, Anniejoy Lagura, Mylyn Lirazon, Pengky Despolo, Jessie Dajuya, Princess Mae Figueras, Irene Baliquig, Hazel Cabaña, Liezel Dalaygon, Jeba Salbigsal, Maribel Buico, and Gladys Hope Sabila.

The survivors were, meanwhile, identified as Grace Canoy, 22; Vicky Velez, 23; and Mylene Tolo, 25, who jumped off from the building in fear of their lives.

Gamba said arson investigators were still conducting further investigation to determine what caused the fire that reached the general alarm before it was completely put out at 6:15 a.m.

He said the establishment is being rented by ready to wear retail store Novo Jeans and Shirts, Western Union, Smart Wireless, Globe, and St. Peters.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    sigurado intsik ang may ari niyan

    ugali ng mga intsik na iyan
    na ikulong ang kanilang mga
    kawawang pilipinong tauhan

    kasuhan na yan
    ng homicide

  • Diepor

    Is it allowed to use a store that is regulated for commercial use as accommodation for your workers? Poor girls .

  • Gege Baldoman

    my gosh….
    sana bayaran at tulungan nlng ang pamilya ng mga biktima…
    kawawa nman.. isa sa mga biktima student ko….:-(

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos