8 crushed to death in Philippines looting

Manila - Eight people were crushed to death as a huge crowd of typhoon survivors stormed a rice warehouse near the devastated city of Tacloban, a Philippine official said on Wednesday.

"One wall of our warehouses collapsed and eight people were crushed and killed instantly," on Tuesday, Rex Estoperez, spokesperson for the National Food Authority, the government's rice trading agency said.

Police and soldiers were guarding the warehouse in Alangalang town, 17km from Tacloban, but were overpowered by the crowd, who carted off more than 100 000 bags of rice, Estoperez added.

"There must have been so many people to carry away so many bags of rice," he said, adding that each bag weighed 50km.

"Our staff was there but they could not do anything without risking their safety."

The United Nations fears that 10 000 people may have died in Tacloban alone when Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, smashed into the Philippines' central islands on Friday.

The typhoon left huge areas isolated and hundreds of thousands homeless and hungry.

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