At least four people have been killed in a fire that broke out at a hotel in the Philippines' capital, while more than a dozen people are trapped inside.
Five people have perished in a raging inferno that tore through a hotel and casino complex in Manila, authorities said Monday, after firefighters battled more than 24 hours to douse the flames.
"The smoke is very heavy and, second, there's the wind that we're trying to overcome", Mr. Yu said.
"The smoke was so big, so you can just imagine, there was zero visibility and our firefighters had difficulty breathing".
Fire authorities were investigating the cause of the blaze, which is believed to have begun in the casino or mezzanine area of the 21-floor hotel which regularly hosted both locals and foreigners, Yu added.
A helicopter reached to rescue the people who were trapped on the rooftop and officials launched a ground operation to get the others out.
A firefighter gestures next to hotel workers on a fire truck ladder after a fire engulfed the Manila Pavilon hotel in Metro Manila, Philippines March 18, 2018. "There were those who inhaled the smoke and were brought to the hospital", senior fire officer Marlon Banaag told AFP.
On Sunday afternoon, President Rodrigo Duterte conducted an aerial survey of the fire aboard a helicopter, photos from his aide showed.
Bureau of Fire Protection Arson Chief Reden Alumno said that arson investigators will probe into the incident and find out if the hotel was issued an Automated Fire Suppression System and if its Fire Safety Inspection Certificate was up to date.
In December, 38 people died in a fire at a four-storey shopping mall in the southern city of Davao.