Thursday, June 1, 2017

Police confirm 36 bodies found in Resorts World due to suffocation

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 2): Police confirm 36 bodies found in Resorts World due to suffocation

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Director Oscar Albayalde, confirmed that around 36 bodies were found at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City apparently due to suffocation after a man set on fire gaming tables including himself early Friday.

Albayalde said in a television interview on Friday that the victims likely suffocated from the thick smoke as the lone gunman burned himself to death inside Room 510 of the luxury casino hotel.

For his part, Southern Police District (SPD) Director, Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario, said the victims, mostly women, were found at the second floor of the casino area. He said the deaths were not from gunshot wounds, adding that the incident was caused by a lone gunman attempting to rob the casino establishment.

In the first hours on Friday, the gunman fired shots, set on fire gaming tables and was later found burned beyond recognition in one of the hotel rooms.

”Fire concentrated in casino area in second floor. I think nag-panic yung victims or due to suffocation and stampede. Inaalam pa namin kung ito employees found in casino second floor mostly babae (We are still determining if the victims, mostly women, found at the second floor were employees of the casino),” Apolinario said.

He said authorities have cordoned off the area and still conducting investigation including to determine the identity of the gunman.

He added the hotel has been cleared of danger except for fumes in some areas.

Apolinario said they have established a processing center together with Resorts World personnel at the lobby of the adjacent Remington Hotel to assist the family of the victims.

Meanwhile, around 54 people injured in the incident were sent to nearby hospitals for treatment.

The city government of Pasay said they are closely coordinating with authorities on developments in the incident.

"The City of Pasay will closely coordinate with the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, and other authorities with the developments of this tragic incident. Let us allow the said agencies to do their mandated duties. We call upon anyone who can provide every assistance and information that may help them. In the meantime, let us pray for those whose lives were lost and their families," Pasay Mayor Mayor Antonino Calixto said.

Calixto also called on the public to remain calm and vigilant.

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