Philippines department store fire leaves 17 dead

Most of the dead were store employees sleeping on the top floors

A fire has swept through a department store in the southern Philippines, killing 17 people.

The blaze broke out early on Wednesday at the three-storey shop in Butuan on the southern island of Mindanao.

The victims were said to be female employees who were sleeping in the department store.

A local police official said that thick smoke meant that the women had not been able to get out.

At least 21 people were said to have been in the building at the time.

Three are reported to have escaped by jumping from a window and one remains missing, police said.

"Twenty-one people were asleep on the second floor when the fire struck the ground floor," Chief Inspector Mario Palarca of the provincial fire department told AFP news agency.

"They could not find the emergency exit because of the huge volume of black smoke."

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

More on This Story

More Asia stories

RSS

Features

  • An undated file photo posted on 27 August 2014 by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, showing IS fighters waving the group's flag from a damaged government fighter jet in Raqqa, Syria.Adapt or die?

    IS militants seem to be changing tactics after air strikes


  • signClean and tidy

    Things that could only happen in a Hong Kong protest


  • Child eating ice creamTooth top tips

    Experts on ways to encourage children to look after their teeth


  • Almaz cleaning floorAlmaz's prison

    Beaten and raped - the story of an African servant in Saudi Arabia


  • Train drawn by Jonathan Backhouse, 1825Original 'geeks'

    What hobby did this drawing start in 1825?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.