World

Philippine factory where fire killed 72 suspected of violating labor laws

  • Workers slides the coffin of one of the fire victims into apartment type-crypts during a mass interment Friday, May 15, 2015 at a public cemetery in Valenzuela city, a northern suburb of Manila, Philippines. Police will open a criminal investigation into the fire incident at Kentex rubber slipper factory as a relative of several of the victims said the blaze had trapped workers in the building's second floor where iron grills on windows prevented their escape. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Workers slides the coffin of one of the fire victims into apartment type-crypts during a mass interment Friday, May 15, 2015 at a public cemetery in Valenzuela city, a northern suburb of Manila, Philippines. Police will open a criminal investigation into the fire incident at Kentex rubber slipper factory as a relative of several of the victims said the blaze had trapped workers in the building's second floor where iron grills on windows prevented their escape. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Workers carry the coffin of one of fire victims for mass interment into apartment type-crypts Friday, May 15, 2015 at a public cemetery in Valenzuela city, a northern suburb of Manila, Philippines. Police will open a criminal investigation into the fire incident at Kentex rubber slipper factory as a relative of several of the victims said the blaze had trapped workers in the building's second floor where iron grills on windows prevented their escape. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Workers carry the coffin of one of fire victims for mass interment into apartment type-crypts Friday, May 15, 2015 at a public cemetery in Valenzuela city, a northern suburb of Manila, Philippines. Police will open a criminal investigation into the fire incident at Kentex rubber slipper factory as a relative of several of the victims said the blaze had trapped workers in the building's second floor where iron grills on windows prevented their escape. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • A private guard looks from a small window as protesters display placards during a rally outside the burnt Kentex rubber slipper factory in Valenzuela city, a northern suburb of Manila, Philippines, Friday, May 15, 2015. The protesters are demanding justice for the victims of a fire that gutted the factory Wednesday. The placards read: "Justice for Kentex workers!, left, and "Justice for workers! Prosecute the guilty!," right. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    A private guard looks from a small window as protesters display placards during a rally outside the burnt Kentex rubber slipper factory in Valenzuela city, a northern suburb of Manila, Philippines, Friday, May 15, 2015. The protesters are demanding justice for the victims of a fire that gutted the factory Wednesday. The placards read: "Justice for Kentex workers!, left, and "Justice for workers! Prosecute the guilty!," right. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

The Philippines' top labor official says a rubber slipper factory where a fire killed 72 people has violated employment laws.

Police and other agencies are conducting separate investigations looking into safety records and criminal liability.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Friday at least 104 workers at the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. were recruited by an illegal sub-contractor. She says owners will be summoned to answer the charges next week.

Officials couldn't say how many workers were at the factory in a Manila suburb when the fire raged Wednesday because records were lost.

It was one of the worst fires in the country after the 1996 disco blaze where 162 people died. Another fire at a budget hotel in 2001 killed 75.