MALACAÑANG ordered the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) on Saturday to extend full assistance to the family of a Filipino engineer who died in a hotel fire in Iraq early Friday.
Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Group said that Malacañang expects the Labor Department to address other possible concerns of the victim’s family.
“It is part of the Owwa’s job. I am sure the Owwa will do its job, as well the Labor Department),” Coloma said in a radio interview.
At least one Filipina worker was among the 40 killed in a fire that hit a hotel in the northern Iraq city of Sulaimaniya early Friday morning (Manila time).
Foreign Affairs Department spokesman Eduardo Malaya earlier said two other Filipino workers survived the fire.
Joshua Ermitano is recuperating at a hospital with a broken leg, while Richie Salceda was discharged from the hospital also on Friday, added Malaya.
A report on Khaleej Times Friday afternoon quoted the chairman of Asiacell as saying that the fire’s casualties were from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia.
“We lost four engineers from our company, one of them a lady from the Philippines, and three of them men from Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Iraq,” Asiacell chairman Faruk Mula Mustafa said in the report.
The engineers from Sri Lanka, Philippines and Cambodia were visiting telecommunications engineers.
The Khaleej Times report also quoted hospital officials as saying that four Americans were also among the fatalities, while two other Iraqi employees were injured.
At least three of the victims died when they jumped from the windows of the Soma Hotel to avoid flames, after the fire broke out around 7:30 GMT Thursday (5:30 a.m. Friday in Manila). (JMR/Sunnex)