Manila (dpa) – A fire razed a public market in the southern Philippines on Saturday, killing 15 people, including six children, police and fire officials said.
Thirteen others were injured in the fire at the three-storey market building in Zamboanga City, 875 kilometres south of Manila, said police spokesman Chief Inspector Joel Tuttuh.
Most of the victims were vendors of used clothing and vegetables and their family members who usually stay overnight at their stalls, Tuttuh said.
Superintendent Dominador Zabala Jr, the city fire marshal, said the fire broke out before dawn when the victims were sleeping.
The fire was put out more than four hours later, he added.
The cause of the fire, which destroyed at least 350 stalls, was initially believed to be faulty electrical wiring, Zabala said.
Charred bodies were being retrieved from the building, while firemen and stall owners were clearing the area destroyed by the fire, he added.