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8 FILIPINAS DIE IN LOCKED BUILDING'S FIRE

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MANILA, Philippines - Eight women workers died when they were trapped inside their room in an apparently illegal electronics warehouse razed by fire Friday morning in Pasay City, near the Philippine capital.
Eight other workers, all also women, including a minor, survived the blaze that struck Asia Micro Tech, a multi-story house converted into a warehouse, on F. Samonte Street, Barangay 47, San Isidro owned by Juanito Go and Samson Co.
Three of the fatalities were apparently hired when they were still minors: Habagat had been working for three years, Saburiga, two years, and Balucos, three years.
The survivors were within the same age range except for the minor, a 16-year old who said she began working at Micro Tech when she was 14.
  • All 16 workers came from the towns of Tanjay, Tayasan and Bindoy in Negros Oriental province.
  • Police had arrested the owner of the building, charging him with human trafficking, negligence resulting in homicide and operating a business in the area without a license.
  • It is a common practice in the Philippines for low-paid employees to sleep in their place of work.
  • Employers typically do not provide enough safety measures for their staff, and some are known to lock them in to stop them stealing or prevent socializing.

Source: AFP
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