Pinay engineer killed in Iraq hotel fire

Posted at 07/16/2010 8:14 PM | Updated as of 07/17/2010 12:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - A Filipina engineer is one 30 people killed in a hotel blaze in Iraq.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) received confirmation about the Pinay’s death from the Philippine embassy in Baghdad.

DFA spokesman Eduardo Malaya said the Filipina was an employee of Asiacell Mobile Company based in Sulaimania Kurdistan Region in Iraq.

“The Filipina was at the hotel SOMA in Sulaimania City when a fire occurred which started at a nearby furniture shop,” Malaya said in a text message to

Malaya said the victim’s name will be released once her family has been notified.

Meanwhile, 2 other overseas Filipino workers survived the fire.

“Joshua Ermitano is recuperating at a hospital from broken legs. Richie Salceda was discharged from the hospital Friday,” said Malaya.

According to Malaya, a Filipino volunteer based in Erbil City is assisting the embassy, and is coordinating with the employers of the victims for the repatriation of remains and entitlement to benefits.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that of the 30 people, including 14 foreigners from the Philippines, Australia, Britain, Canada and several Asian and South American countries, were killed in the hotel fire.

At least 42 others, including 7 firemen, were injured in the blaze.

The fire which was allegedly caused by faulty electrical wiring quickly spread from the 2nd floor of the 6-storey building.

Witnesses told AFP at least 3 of those who died did so after leaping from the hotel's windows in a desperate bid to save themselves as flames and smoke engulfed their rooms. – Agence France-Presse