MANILA, Philippines – Resorts World Manila has promised to give financial assistance to families of those killed during a “lone wolf” attack on the posh entertainment complex.
In a prepared statement read to media on Saturday, June 3, Resorts World Manila Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly said the company will give P1 million to each of the families of the victims.
Some 37 employees and guests were trapped on the 2nd floor of the casino, where VIP guests stay. The gunman, whom police had yet to identify, set ablaze gaming tables as he made his way across the casino, producing thick smoke that suffocated the victims.
Bureau of Fire Protection National Capital Region (BFP NCR) chief Senior Superintendent Wilberto Rico Neil Kwan Tiu said that based on studies, it takes just minutes for a person to lose consciousness and eventually die from suffocation when trapped inside a burning room.
Resorts World management will also provide funeral and burial assistance to the victims, said Reilly.
“Nothing can ever replace the lives of our loved ones. Yesterday, we all lost so many lives because of a senseless act,” he said.
Relatives of the casualties had earlier lamented the apparent lack of support from the Resorts World. (READ: TIMELINE: Resorts World Manila attack)
The attack was likely an attempted robbery, police insisted, though terror group ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attack. (READ: Terrorism and ISIS at Resorts World Attack?)
Metro Manila police chief Director Oscar Albayalde said none of the evidence, so far, would suggest that was an act of terror. Malacañang reiterated this on Saturday, as it brushed aside the ISIS claim.
After a brief encounter with casino security and the police, the gunman forced open a hotel room and set the hallway and his room on fire. He eventually shot himself with his M4 rifle. (READ: Officials contradict each other on Resorts World Manila attack)
Police are still trying to identify the gunman, who was described as tall, “mestizo (fair-skinned).” Contrary to earlier statements, police said on June 3 that the gunman was apparently fluent in Filipino.
Police had earlier spoken to the taxi driver who brought the gunman to the Resorts World Manila complex. Authorities first claimed that the gunman drove himself to the establishment. (READ: Casino targeted with suicide attack because it’s ‘haram’ – ISIS)
Maxims Hotel and Resorts World remain closed to the public. – Rappler.com