MANILA, Philippines – Four laborers working on a 27-floor condominium project’s elevator system were killed while another worker was severely injured after falling several floors below at the height of the heavy downpour on Friday night in Quezon City.
The workers fell from the 27th floor to the sixth floor of the West Insular Condominium Project on 137 West Avenue in Barangay Bungad after strong winds buffeted the unsupported frame of the elevator shaft they were standing on, said Chief Inspector Benjamin Elenzano Jr., homicide chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU).
A fifth worker, welder Carlos Lanojan, 36, was also injured when parts of the steel frame fell on him as he worked on the sixth floor.
The four workers died while being taken to the Quezon City General Hospital for treatment.
PO3 Greg Maramag, case investigator, said the four men suffered multiple head and body injuries from the fall.
Elenzano identified the fatalities as Joey Dellosa, 26; Gilbert Leonardo, 25; Gabriel Rejuso, 26 and Leo Vinas, 30, all steelmen, natives of Masbate and stay-in workers at the E. Ganzon Inc. (EGI) West Insular Condominium Project.
Maramag said the accident happened at the project site at around 6:30 p.m. during the heavy downpour.
Witness Allan Dalanon clarified that there was no elevator yet on the proposed 27-floor building. He told Maramag they were working on the “shear wall” setting up the iron frame when the accident happened.
Dalanon, who was working with the ill-fated crew, was ordered by Dellosa to get down to the sixth floor to get more iron bars when the group fell.
He said he had just gone down when he heard a loud rush of wind and banging noise. When he looked up the steel frame buckled from under and saw his colleagues falling one after the other. He said they have just taken off their safety harness and was preparing to get down from the frame when a strong wind shook them up.
“I shouted for them to hold on to anything so they would not fall but it happened so quickly,” said Dalanon.
When asked why the steel frame gave way, Dalanon told Maramag it was not encased in concrete as it should have been.
“The right thing to have been done was when the iron bars have been put in place in the walls of one floor, they should have been encased in concrete immediately,” said Dalanon. –Jerry Botial (The Philippine Star)