3 Feb, MANILA-
More than 100 workers have been injured in a fire at a factory in the Philippines, local officials said on Thursday.
Gov. Jesus Crispin Remulla said the blaze broke out around 5 p.m. Wednesday at a Japanese factory called Housing Technology Industries, Pte. Ltd inside the Cavite Ecozone in Rosario town Cavite province, south of Manila.
As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Remulla said that at least 126 workers, including two Japanese employees, were reported injured in the blaze, four of them in critical condition. He added that at least two workers are still unaccounted for.
He said the fire started on the ground floor of the three-story factory that manufactures prefabricated housing materials for export to Japan.
Reports said that the company employs about 6,000 workers, but the company has yet to determine the number of employees working on the night shift when the fire broke out.
“The fire happened as the employees were about to change their shift. Some people already got inside but others were able to run out of the building,” he said.
Police officer Janet Arinabo of Cavite said that employees heard an explosion followed by an electric shutdown causing people to panic.
She said that firefighters struggled to bring the fire under control.
In May 2015, a fire that gutted a rubber slipper factory in suburb Manila killed 72 people, which is one of the most severe fire accidents in recent years in the Philippines.