Mayor says body found in Davao mall fire

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2017 01:35 PM | Updated as of Dec 25 2017 08:37 AM

MANILA - One of the 37 people feared dead in a fire that engulfed a shopping mall in Davao City was recovered Sunday, the city mayor said.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said the body has been processed by police forensic operatives and would soon be brought to the funeral parlor.

Some 36 others unaccounted for have yet to be found, and Duterte said she has given instructions to Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) officers on the ground to continue their search until all are found.

She said families of those missing were placed in a holding area to be able to access information on the continuing search and rescue efforts.

"We talked to them and they requested prayers. We prayed with them and requested our archbishop to celebrate a mass with them kagabi. Information was provided to them by the commanders on the ground, galing BFP," Duterte told ANC's Dateline Philippines.

The mayor, also the president's daughter, said she has spoken to one of the mall owners and a mall official and gave instructions to "take care of your employees" and do what is necessary in the aftermath of the deadly blaze.

She also told owners of the call center on the mall's top floor to validate the names on the list of those believed trapped and check if they are indeed their employees.

The call center has 36 names, while the city office has 37 names, said Duterte.

"They are ready to face whatever the consequences of the recommendations of the BFP report. Ready na sila doon and we are also awaiting the official BFP report so we can act accordingly," she said of the mall and call center management.

The blaze started at the 4-story NCCC Mall on Saturday morning and people were trapped inside, including in a call center on the top floor.

The fire supposedly started on the third floor, which houses products like fabrics, wooden furniture and plastic ware.

Duterte said there were no reports yet on the cause of the fire.