Shantytown fire leaves thousands homeless in Manila

Seven people were injured & 15,000 were left homeless when a massive fire swept through a crowded shantytown in Philippines.

A fire burns through an informal settlement as it burns hundreds of houses in Delpan, Tondo, Manila on February 7, 2017. Picture: AFP

MANILA - A massive fire swept through a crowded shantytown near the docks in Manila, destroying houses and leaving 15,000 people homeless, authorities in the Philippine capital said on Wednesday.

Seven people were injured in the fire that broke out late on Tuesday night and raged for 10 hours as it spread rapidly, engulfing more than 1,000 makeshift houses, fire officer Edilberto Cruz told reporters.

About 15,000 people were left homeless and were temporarily sheltered in evacuation centres, and their belongings, like television sets, washing machines and clothes were left on a major road, blocking trucks hauling containers at the port.

Only a week ago, a worker was killed and more than a hundred injured at a huge industrial fire at a factory south of the capital.

Fires are common in factories and shantytowns in Manila, one of the most populated cities in the world.

In 2015, 74 workers were killed when they were trapped in a slipper factory north of the capital.