Ozone Disco Club Fire

The Ozone Disco Pub in suburban Manila, the site of a fire that killed at least 150 people, had been approved for occupancy by no more than 35 people, officials said today.

About 400 people were packed inside when the blaze started.

Officials also said the emergency exit was blocked by a new building next door.

Obviously, the fire exits were not inspected," said Ismael Mathay, the Mayor of Quezon City, the suburb where the Ozone is located. "This was undoubtedly a deathtrap."

It was the end of the school year in the Philippines, the season for graduation parties. At least 350 customers and a staff of 40 were inside, and many were dancing to pop music played by a disk jockey. The fire began shortly after midnight today, and the dance crowd began a stampede toward the only door. Many of the people inside were unable to get out before the flames spread.

After a fierce fire spread through a disco packed with students early this morning, officials confirmed today that at least 150 people had been killed and said there may be as many as 50 more bodies still in the ruins.

Dozens more were severely injured, many with third-degree burns. Hospital officials said others had been trampled in the rush to the exits.

When the fire began shortly after midnight, an estimated 350 people were in the Ozone Disco Pub in suburban Quezon City, many of them taking part in high school and college graduation parties, survivors said. The school year in the Philippines ends this month.