Several injured after gunshots, fire at Resorts World Manila
MANILA, Philippines (6th UPDATE) – Gunshots were heard and fire broke at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City past midnight Friday, June 2, with people who rushed out of the hotel and casino building or happened to be nearby warning social media users to avoid the area.
In a tweet, Resorts World Manila said it is "currently on lockdown following reports of gunfire from unidentified men."
Several were hurt from the stampede that followed, police said. (READ: PNP says robbery behind Resorts World Manila shooting)
Roberto Palao Jr, a janitor at Resorts World, said he saw an armed man wearing a bonnet and carrying an long firearm that's "looks better than an armalite" amid the pandemonium. He said the gunman announced he had companions, and that this man sprayed the ceiling with bullets.
Palao helped other people get out of the building, carrying an old woman with a broken leg and who begged him not to leave her behind.
It was not immediately known how many people were injured, although medical teams have arrived to attend to them. They have been brought to at least 3 nearby hospitals.
Some of these people jumped out of the windows to escape.
The SITE Intelligence Group said hours after that a Filipino operative of ISIS claimed they were behind the attack. But the PNP said it was an isolated incident.
A casino customer, who identified himself as Julio Silva, told reporters he was on the 3rd floor of the building when he heard a gunshot, so he hid in the restroom. Several more gunshots followed, and there was thick smoke around, he said.
Silva said he called his companions, who told him to follow them to the second floor. From there, security staff guided them out of the building, he said, visibly shaken.
He said he didn't see any masked men.
A spokeswoman for the Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Office requested the media not to air videos from outside the hotel, saying this could compromise the operations being conducted in the area.
In a statement later, NCRPO spokesperson Chief Inspector Kim Molitas called on the public to “advice relatives and friends to stay out of the area” and to help the authorities "by not spreading posts from the hotel.”
In a statement, she said the paramount concern is to protect people who are trapped inside the hotel and the policemen who have been deployed.
Molitas said the Metro Manila police director Oscar Albayalde is on the ground and “has received proper guidance from the higher authorities.”
Meanwhile, Resorts World said in a second tweet, "The Company is working closely with the Philippine National Police to ensure that all guests and employees are safe."
It added: "We ask for your prayers during these difficult times."– with reports from Eloisa Lopez and Zak Yuson/Rappler.com