Portion of Sogo-Malate collapses; 2 workers dead

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2019 10:57 AM | Updated as of Sep 23 2019 09:43 PM

Members of the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Metro Manila Development Authority during the search and retrieval operation at the Sogo Hotel in Malate, Manila on September 23, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (5th UPDATE) - A portion of a Sogo hotel set for demolition collapsed in Malate, Manila on Monday morning, killing 2 workers and injuring several others. 

A foreman said a total of 22 people were working inside the hotel when it collapsed at around 9 a.m. Rescuers had to use a crane to pull out the bodies of 2 workers trapped under the rubble. 

Mayor Isko Moreno identified the fatalities as Jerome Fabello and Melo Ison. 

"Si Mr. Jerome Fabello, after we had an access sa gumuhong building, napulsuhan siya. Talagang wala na siyang buhay. And they tried to go to another person which is deeper under the debris. Noong napulsuhan siya ng alas tres ng hapon, wala na ring buhay. But we retrieved already the body of Melo Ison at 3:14 p.m. He was properly identified by the foreman nung demolition site," the mayor said in an interview with ANC. 

Another worker was rushed to the hospital after the accident and is now stable, he added. 

A demolition permit issued by Manila City Hall last August 2, 2019 identified the owner of the building as Golden Breeze Realty Inc.

Moreno has ordered city engineers and building officials to check other buildings set for demolition in Manila and conduct due diligence. 

"'Yung due diligence on the part of private entities who are hiring contractors for demolition job with regards to their buildings, 'yan pinaiimbestigahan natin para kung sakali man, precautionary measures," he said. 

He added: "Liability will come later. I will task the city engineering to find out if there's fault...Until may makita kaming pagkukulang sa part ng Sogo marahil or sa contractor ng demolition marahil."

He also questioned why another motel beside Sogo continued to operate after the incident.

Levi Facundo, chief of Manila's Bureau of Permits, earlier said Soho Hotel's business permit is valid until December 31 and its other documents for plumbing, fire safety and others are in order.

The establishment also has a P5-million insurance policy covering damage to property and injury, he added. 
 
-- With reports from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News