26 Dec 2012

Riots and fatal fires in Manila

5:50 am on 26 December 2012

Riots have broken out in Manila after at least eight people were killed and 2000 families left homeless by two fires in a slum district.

Police in the Philippines capital sid the first fire engulfed a row of old apartments in northern Manila at dawn on Christmas Day. The second one was started at a sprawling shantytown in the San Juan district.

Six casualties, all from one family, were trapped inside a two-storey flat. The ABC reported another person was still missing.

Manila fire marshal, Santiago Laguna said the residents were themselves to blame.

"Our fire trucks had difficulty entering the narrow streets that were blocked by parked cars and carts," he said.

"Our firefighters had to drag the hoses into the alleys, where they were attacked."

A man was beaten up and later died from his injuries. He had been mistaken for a fireman.