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Seven die in Philippines typhoon shelter blaze

Six children among victims

Seven die in Philippines typhoon shelter blaze

A hospital worker attends to the remains of the fire victims. (Photo by Lito Bagunas)

Ronald Reyes, Tacloban City

May 28, 2014

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Six children, including a two-month old infant, and their mother died after a fire razed a temporary shelter for Super Typhoon Haiyan survivors on Wednesday.

A six-year-old boy was pulled alive from the flames but died later in hospital.

The tragedy occurred in San Jose village in Leyte province’s Tacloban City.

"When we arrived on the scene, the tent was already completely burned. [The victims] must have been trapped inside," fire officer Alvin Duran told

Duran said the fire started from a kerosene lamp in the tent.

"The fire spread fast," said Romeo de la Torre who lives in a nearby tent. "We tried to help but the blaze took hold so fast," he said.

The United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees donated the canvas tents.

The UN provided tents for 120 local families who lost their homes in the November 8 super typhoon that left thousands dead and homeless.

Some 5,000 families or close to 30,000 individuals remain in temporary shelters around the city, seven months after the typhoon.

The deaths came a day after two Catholic bishops called on the government to hasten the rehabilitation and recovery efforts in Haiyan-stricken areas.

Bishop Isabelo Abarquez of Calbayog said on Tuesday that government aid for Haiyan victims is "a bit slow". 

Bishop Crispin Varquez of Borongan said the government has a rehabilitation plan "but there is still no concrete action".
"I hope we can address this problem because if not, we will end up being poorer than we were before Haiyan," he said.
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