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31 Confirmed Dead in Valenzuela Factory Blaze

The death toll in the deadly fire that razed a sandals factory in Sitio Gitna, Barangay Ugong in Valenzuela City Wednesday afternoon has reached 31, but 67 more factory workers remain unaccounted for, various reports said.

Mayor Rex Gatchalian confirmed that firefighters who were able to penetrate the burnt building found no survivors.

In a news update, the mayor told the grieving relatives of the victims that “none of those trapped inside survived.” This is puzzling since there are still 67 workers believed to have been trapped inside the factory.

Earlier, two of the first three dead bodies recovered from the fire scene have been identified as that of Heidi Pang and Tristan Ong.

The fire broke out at Kentex Manufacturing Inc. around 11:28 a.m. and reached Task Force Charlie 12:11 p.m., the Bureau of Fire Protection reported.

The blaze was declared under control at around 4:30 p.m. and fire out at 6:57 p.m.

Search and retrieval operations are ongoing while fire officials continue to investigate the cause of the fire.

(This report was updated on 22:00 p.m., 13 May 2015)