36 bodies in Davao mall fire recovered

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 25 2017 06:03 PM | Updated as of Dec 25 2017 09:48 PM

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MANILA -- (UPDATED) More bodies in the deadly fire that engulfed a shopping mall in Davao City have been found on Monday, Christmas Day, according to the authorities.

James Lao of the Davao Fire Brigade Volunteers said the 36 bodies recovered today belong to call center agents trapped in the NCCC Mall during the fire.

Inspector Ezekiel Tabon, chief of operations of the Davao City Fire District, told DZMM that the bodies recovered in the building were beyond recognition.

Tabon said most of the bodies were found in the lobby of the call center office where they were trapped during the fire. He said the bodies have been sent to the scene of the crime operatives.

"Hindi po lahat [ng narekober] nasa lobby. May dalawa nasa mismong parang open area nila," he said, noting this shows that the victims were trying to get out. 

The call center office has two fire exits, Tabon noted, adding that one subject of their investigation would be to find out why the victims were not able to use those exits. 

According to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, a body was already recovered yesterday and has been brought to forensic operatives so it can be identified.

This brings the total number of confirmed deaths in the fire to 37.

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

The fire supposedly started on the third floor, which houses products like fabrics, wooden furniture and plastic ware. Authorities have yet to determine the cause of the fire.