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Philippine Hotel Fire Kills 15 People, Including Nursing Students

Rescuers load the bodies of victims into an ambulance following a fire that gutted the Bed and Breakfast Pension House in Tuguegarao city, Cagayan province in Northern Philippines early Sunday, 19 Dec 2010

A fire has engulfed a hotel in the northern Philippines, killing 15 people, including nine nursing school graduates who were preparing to take professional certification exams.

The fire spread through the Bed and Breakfast hotel early Sunday in the city of Tuguegarao in Cagayan province. It burned for hours before firefighters put it out. Many of the guests were nursing graduates from nearby provinces who were in the city to take an exam later in the day to qualify for licenses.

Some of the students escaped the hotel but others died after cramming into bathrooms on the top floors to try to survive. The bodies of the dead were badly burned. The fire also killed several members of the family that owned the hotel.

Authorities say the fire appeared to break out in a vehicle parts store adjacent to the hotel. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.