MANILA – Philippine authorities increased on Wednesday the number of people killed in a recent mall fire in the southern city of Davao on Mindanao Island to 38.
The fire broke out Saturday morning on the third floor of the New City Commercial Center Mall.
The municipal authorities of Davao declared the latest victim as a male identified as Melvin Gaa, who worked at the commercial center.
The other 37 people killed in the fire worked as customer service professionals for the firm Research Now SSI, located on the fourth floor of the building.
The government has launched an investigation into the causes of the incident and to verify whether security norms were violated.
Local trade unions and organizations have accused Research Now SSI, a United States company, of not complying with the required preventive measures.
The blaze caused turmoil in Davao, which was severely affected by tropical storm Tembin last week that left 240 dead across the island of Mindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who had been a mayor of Davao for 20 years before his daughter Sara succeeded him, has twice met with the families of the victims, both sides sharing tearful moment.