Sprinklers didn’t work during Manila Pavilion fire, firefighters say

Rambo Talabong
Sprinklers didn’t work during Manila Pavilion fire, firefighters say
The fire would have been put out earlier if the sprinklers worked, says Manila disaster risk reduction and management chief Johnny Yu

MANILA, Philippines – Sprinklers at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel & Casino did not work, according to firefighters deployed to the site of a fire which claimed the lives of at least 3 people and left 23 others injured.

“[Sprinklers did not work] based on the initial report of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP),” Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief Johnny Yu told Rappler in a text message on Sunday, March 18.

In an interview with DZRH, Yu added: “Kailangan pasukin ng ating bumbero using external, gamit [ang] hose sa labas, doon sila bumobomba sa loob. Kung sakaling gumana man ‘yung sprinkler system hindi sana tayo aabot ng ganito katagal.”

(Our firefighters had to use an external [water source], meaning a hose outside then they blasted water inside. Had the sprinklers functioned, it wouldn’t have taken us this long to put out the fire.)

As of 10:30 pm, the BFP has not yet declared “fire out.”

Yu added in the radio interview that the hotel has yet to submit to them a copy of its emergency plans in case of fire.

According to Yu, a business establishment like the Manila Pavilion would need to have the following plans, before being granted a business permit by the Manila City government:

  • Disaster management plan
  • Contingency plan
  • Business continuity plan

– Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.