August 20, 2001
By: Stefan J. Bos
Eastern Europe Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- (ANS) -- An early morning fire that swept through a suburban Manilla hotel Saturday has killed at least 75 people, mostly participants at a weekend conference organized by Christian evangelists, Vatican radio reported.
Television footage showed people clustering at windows of the five story Quezon City Manor House as firemen swarmed up ladders in a desperate attempt to rescue them and to search for the missing, including a pastor and his wife.
General Francisco Senot, director of the Bureau of Fire Protection, told the Reuters news agency that rescue work was made difficult because his men found "obstructions to some fire escapes." Local media said that some of the fire escapes were locked and that the hotel lacked emergency lighting, despite recent warnings from local officials that it had violated some building codes.
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