Monday, February 15, 2016

GALLERY: Final journey home for 13 Pinays killed in Iraq hotel fire

The remains of the 13 Filipina workers who perished in a hotel fire in Iraq have been handed over to their grieving relatives over the weekend, a report on 24 Oras weekend said.
The remains arrived Saturday evening on board a commercial flight from Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan autonomous region in Iraq where the gutted Capitol Hotel is located.
Seven were taken to various funeral parlors in Metro Manila while an undetermined number were transported to their hometowns in Luzon. Arrangements for the transport of the bodies of those from the southern part of the country are still under process.
The fatalities were working in a spa at the basement of the Capitol Hotel when fire broke out last Saturday, Feb. 6.
Philippine Embassy to Baghdad charge d’affaires Elmer Cato earlier told GMA News Online that the victims died of smoke inhalation.
Cato flew to Erbil a few hours after the fire broke out to coordinate the process of identifying the remains and arranging their repatriation.
A Catholic priest led prayers for the dead and blessed the caskets containing the Filipinas’ remains lined up at the tarmac of the airport before airport ground handlers loaded the caskets into the aircraft’s cargo hold.
The Filipino community in Iraq also held a memorial service for their ill-fated compatriots.


The Philippine government said the victims’ next of kin would be given assistance through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Only four of the fatalities were registered with the OWWA.
There are about 1,500 Filipinos working in Kurdistan, most of them as hotel and restaurant workers, engineers, nurses and household service workers, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.  — APG, GMA News

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