A one-and-a-half hour fire swept a huge pavilion of the National Mental Hospital in Manila on Friday, killing 32 patients and injuring seven others.
GV National Mental Hospital in heavy smoke
CU sign of the hospital
SV Fire engines rushing in
SV to WV Firemen pulling hoses
CU Fire engine red light
SV Firemen spraying waters over the wards (2 SHOTS)
SV Injured patients and others being evacuated in jeep and lorry (4 SHOTS)
SV Fireman talking to newsmen
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Background: A one-and-a-half hour fire swept a huge pavilion of the National Mental Hospital in Manila on Friday, killing 32 patients and injuring seven others.
Police joined firemen, attendants and voluntary civilian rescuers in pulling the patients from the circular-shaped single-storey building which was housed at leat 1,200 male patients.
Some patients were trapped by the flames in barred wards and isolation cells where the most regressed and homicidal patients were held.
The firemen were hampered by the heavily barred windows. They fought to reach the trapped patients using axes and crow bars.
Some firemen tried to cut through the corrugated-iron roof of the old-style building but the smoke was very thick and it was so hot.
The injured patients were immediately taken to another part of the hospital complex in jeeps and trucks. They were laughing and waving and banging the sides of the heavily-guarded vehicles.
Firemen Rodolfo Olegon, one of the first to reach the scene, said to newsmen the fire, believed caused by faulty electric wiring in one of the wards, broke out at night and patients fought off their rescuers and refused to leave.