MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Three men died while 2 others were rescued after a portion of a building in Manila City being demolished collapsed on Saturday morning, authorities said Sunday.
Two demolition workers were rescued Saturday night while the first body was retrieved at 8 a.m. Sunday, the local disaster office said.
"The first of the bodies came out after working well into the night digging cautiously not to upset the integrity of the structure that was clearly leaning over 5 degrees in one direction," it said.
The fatalities were identified as Richard Bugarin, Joseph Lacsa, and Jomar Torillos, while Aaron Eleutrio and Airold Sidro were rushed to the Philippine Orthopedic Center for treatment, police said in its initial report.
The basement and first floor of the 6-story Philam Life building collapsed at around 11 a.m. Saturday, the Bureau of Fire Protection said.
The incident was only reported to police at 5 p.m. Saturday, said Lt. Col. Evangeline Cayaban, chief of Manila Police District Station 5.
"Naging concern lang namin, medyo matagal pag-report sa amin regarding sa nangyaring insidente," the official said.
(We're concerned that the incident was reported to us late.)
The contractor and subcontractor of the building's demolition team may be held liable, said Capt. Henry Navarro, chief of MPD's Homicide Section.
"Kung makita natin na in the course ng kanilang operation, may nakitang kapabayaan, maaari silang maging liable through reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and serious physical injuries. File natin ang subcontractor at safety officer," he said.
(If we determine there's neglect in the course of their operation, they can be held liable for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and serious physical injuries. We will file this against the subcontractor and safety officer.)
"All throughout the operation, kailangan lahat ng safety measures, strictly ma-observe para ma-prevent o maiwasan mga ganyang aksidente."
(All throughout the operation, all safety measures must be strictly observed to prevent this kind of accident.)
The subcontractor and owner of the building have yet to give a statement.
--Report from Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News