MANILA (UPDATE) – The management of Ayala Center Cebu may face legal action after the ceiling of one of its cinemas collapsed Monday night during an exclusive screening, injuring at least nine people.
Dreamscape Networks Inc. was launching a new campaign ad when water poured in from the ceiling of the mall’s Cinema 5. At around 8:50 p.m., part of the acoustic board ceiling fell on the theater seats.
Mark Evans, the chief executive officer of Dreamscape Networks, sustained injuries on his hand when he tried to remove the debris that fell on his employees.
Evans alleged that the management of Ayala Center failed to immediately respond to the incident.
“Steel frames was all over the sets. We have no tools. The emergency staff arrived but they didn’t have tools,” he said.
Evans said the company plans to file a complaint against the management of Ayala Center.
“We will take some legal actions for sure,” he said.
In a statement, Ayala Center Cebu said that based on its initial findings, the huge amount of water came from its sprinkler system.
“We regret that such an incident happened. Based on initial findings, the sprinkler system released water that caused the acoustic boards to fall. We are further investigating the cause,” Ayala said on a Facebook post.
It added that the mall’s Emergency Brigade Team “immediately responded to clear the area and those affected were immediately given medical care.”
Five of the wounded persons are still in the hospital.
“We assure the public that the safety of our customers continues to be a top priority in the mall and we are investigating to prevent recurrence of the incident,” Ayala said.
Atty. Jeanette Japzon, corporate communications manager of Ayala Land affiliate Cebu Holdings, said the company is ready to face any complaint that will be filed by Evans.
“As of the moment, we have to look into the incident first, so that we will know exactly the facts of what happened. What we had assured now is that all the people were safe in getting and we have attended to those who were injured,” she said.
Cinema 5 opened in December 2013 as part of Ayala Center Cebu’s expansion. -- With a report from Aiza Layague, ABS-CBN Central Visayas