Relatives claim 2 more bodies still trapped in gutted Kentex factory
ALTHOUGH almost all of the victims in May 13 Valenzuela City fire have been identified, relatives sought help from authorities to find two more missing workers of Kentex Manufacturing Inc. believed to have been trapped inside the footwear factory.
Apart from the 72 individuals in the initial death toll, there were reportedly two more workers who died in the inferno after the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory received information that the local government of Valenzuela was told of the unretrieved bodies by relatives, according to deputy director Senior Superintendent Emmanuel Aranas.
At the sidelines of the ceremonial opening of Automated Fingerprint Identification System in Camp Crame on Wednesday, Aranas said crime laboratory representatives would return to the site to find the bodies.
“The relatives sought help from the City Social Welfare and Development Office. The information was then relayed to the Crime Laboratory,” said Aranas.
Aranas said the bodies might be trapped under the roof of the building that fell on the factory floor during the fire.
“From the start, alam naming hindi sarado sa 72 ang death toll kaso hindi namin mapasok ‘yung ilalim ng roof kasi delikado,” he said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net.
But Aranas said it would be “risky” for the search team to lift the roof due to fragile and crumbling floors.
Less than a month after the tragedy, police have identified 71 out of 72 casualties in the seven-hour fire in Barangay (village) Ugong factory. The fire was said to have started when sparks from a welding work ignited highly flammable materials stored inside the factory.
Most of the victims were identified through DNA testing. The crime laboratory gathered specimen from the victims’ relatives through a buccal swab of the mouth. AC
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