At least Thirty-six people have been killed in a Manila casino, following an attack in the early hours of Friday morning by a gunman who opened fires by an assault rifle and set towards the gambling tables.
An earlier report from Philippines police revealed the death toll as 36.
The victims, who did not appear to have been shot, eventually died by the surprising suffocation inside the casino lounge, Southern Police District Director Superintendent Tomas Apolinario said Friday. “Most of the victims were women who were found dead inside the bathroom,” he added.
Heavy smoke of fire caused by this crime caused the dealy in search operation of the affected building after this happen, but officers later discovered them during clearing operations, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde said.
All of the bodies were found in Resort World Manila’s casino area, he said. Among the casualties were the 22 guests and 13 staff members of this unlucky resort, around 54 other got injured during this incident, at the end the suspected gunman also killed himself.
Police reported that the unlucky incident is not related to any terror act, as the country is already engaged in the war against ISIS militants.
“This particular situation in Manila is not related in any way to a terrorist attack,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters.
Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde told reporters that police think it’s likely the suspect was a foreigner. “He looks Caucasian, he talks English, he’s big and he’s white, so he’s probably a foreigner,” he said.
The targeted resort is also known as the pioneer resort of the country, which is also known as the RWM resort of Philippines as RWM, Resorts World Manila is described on its website as the “first and largest integrated resort in the Philippines.”
According to a statement from RWM, the gunman was found dead around 7 a.m. local time.
“He had taken his own life by setting himself on fire followed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the statement said. Police confirmed he had died in a room on the fifth floor of the Resort World Hotel.
Jay Dones, a witness on the scene, said some employees had told him a gunman fired shots in the air.
“One of the employees told me that the suspect began pouring the contents of the bottle on one of the tables and lit it on fire,” Dones said.
Witnesses also told about hearing what sounded like explosions.
“I could smell some kind of smoke that came from an explosive device,” said Tikos Low, who said he was in the resort’s casino along with a few hundred other people when the attack began.
All terminals at Ninoy Aquino International Airport were placed on lockdown because of the attack, according to Robert Echano with airport operations. The airport is about a mile away from the resort. Security remains on “high alert” status.