100 hurt in Cavite factory fire

(UPDATED) As of midnight of Thursday, there are between 80 and 100 HTI workers being treated in various hospitals around Rosario town, where the Cavite Export Processing Zone is located

CAVITE EPZA'S BIGGEST EMPLOYER. Fire hits the Housing Technology Industries facility in Cavite's Export Processing Zone at around 6 pm on February 1, 2017, just after employees have changed shifts. Rappler photo

CAVITE, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – About 100 were injured in an evening fire that hit a factory in an export processing zone in Cavite, south of Metro Manila, on Wednesday, February 1.

As of posting, an undetermined number of workers are reportedly still trapped inside the House Technology Industries building, but authorities won’t confirm the information.

Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla told Rappler over the phone that the fire broke on Wednesday at around 6 pm, just as the workers had changed shifts. 

Local authorities said the fire was under control at around 11:30 pm.

Remulla said that, as of midnight of Thursday, there are between 80 and 100 HTI workers being treated in various hospitals in the cities and towns around Rosario, where the Cavite Export Processing Zone is located. (LIST: Workers injured in Cavite export processing zone fire)

The HTI facility, where housing materials for export to Japan are manufactured, occupies 6 hectares in the Cavite EPZA. The biggest group of companies in the processing zone, it has a total of about 15,000 workers and has been considered by local governments as the best employer here. The hospitals where the injured workers were brought to have tie-ups with HTI. 

Twenty of the 53 people who were brought to the the Divine Grace Medical Center in the neighboring city of General Trias are in critical condition, according to Michael del Rosario, whose family owns the hospital. 

The governor said in a press con Thursday afternoon that only 4 had been reported to the authorities to be in critical condition. 

As of Thursday, two employees were confirmed missing, but Remulla said the final number will be determined only when fire fighters and rescuers are able to enter the area. The fire still raged almost 24 hours after it started. – with reports Aika Rey and Mover Catherine Co/Rappler.com 

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