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BFP Update: 72 Bodies Retrieved from Gutted Valenzuela Factory

Firefighters have recovered over 70 bodies from the burnt rubber slipper factory in Valenzuela City, a Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) official confirmed.

BFP regional director F/Sr. Supt. Sergio Soriano Jr. said that as of 1:40 p.m., fire officials have retrieved at least 72 bodies, most of which from the second floor of the gutted warehouse.

The bodies were brought for identification to the Maysan Barangay Hall where a Family Assistance Center for the relatives of the victims had been set-up by the Valenzuela city government.

Mayor Rex Gatchalian, meanwhile, said that around 30 workers have survived but have been injured while 26 others have remained unaccounted for.

A citywide state of mourning has been declared as the city grieves with the families of victims who perished in the fire, which is touted to be the biggest to have razed the city in terms of casualties.

Gatchalian assured that due financial, burial, and legal assistance would be extended to the victims’ families.

In addition to victims Heidi Pang and Tristan Ong who were identified yesterday, factory secretaries Leah Ballesteros and Josie Tee were also named as among the casualties.

Retrieval operations are still ongoing.