Rescuers detect no more signs of trapped persons in supermarket: PNP
Pampanga police on Wednesday afternoon said rescuers no longer detect any signs of persons inside a collapsed supermarket in Porac, following the magnitude 6.1 quake that hit parts of Luzon last Monday.
According to Pampanga Provincial Police Director Colonel Jean Fajardo, as of 6 am rescuers found no signs of life or dead individuals in Chuzon Supermarket.
Sixteen were reported dead from the quake, with the bulk of the casualties in Pampanga, especially in Porac, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.
"Based on the equipment used by the rescuers and even the K9 (police dogs), there were negative signs of alive and dead individuals. The (police dog) was only able to detect the body part that was mutilated (from a victim)," she said.
She added all reported missing were found.
However, Fajardo said as rescuers try to penetrate the blocked middle portion of the building, they will not halt search and rescue operations.
"We will not stop our search and rescue operations because there's a possibility that even after three to five days (there are still people trapped) that we can recover,''she said.
Fajardo said they might decide whether they will shift rescue operations into retrieval operations by the end of the day.
As of 3 pm, she said the Department of Public Works and Highways are conducting initial clearing operations to help rescuers enter the building.
Police also apologized for the confusion in figures of missing persons that were trapped in the building.
"We want to apologize if the figures (were different to the number of people rescued and accounted). After the tremor (last Monday), the initial respondents collected names of possible missing people. We were only able to confirm and verify the list on the following day," Fajardo explained.
"Some employees and people who were able to go out of the building before it collapsed were also listed," she added.
She said they are confident that shifting to retrieval operations will be declared earlier based on reports from rescuers. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS