By Joseph Pedrajas
A budget hotel building which was under demolition collapsed in Malate, Manila, Monday morning, leaving two persons dead.
The fatalities were identified as Melson Ison, helper and Jerome Fabello, skilled worker. Their bodies were retrieved under a beam at least five hours after the incident happened
Meanwhile, Edson Ison, helper, who reportedly jumped off the establishment, was immediately rescued and is now in stable condition.
A total of 19 other workers also survived when they managed to escape the building, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said.
Rescuers from the Bureau of Fire Protection, Manila City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Red Cross, RAHA Fire Volunteers, among others, were immediately deployed to respond.
At least one crane, one ladder truck, nine fire trucks, three rescue trucks, 13 ambulances and six dogs were prepared in retrieval operation.
Moreno, who went to the area after receiving a report, also ordered to temporarily stop the operation of another budget hotel building on nearby Adriatico St. after he saw the establishment still accepting guests.
The street, which the collapsed buildinh was, was also closed to traffic.
Julie Vallo, 49, said that she was eating breakfast when the left right portion of a Sogo Hotel building on A. Mabini St. collapsed about 9:30 a.m.
“Narinig ko nalang biglang may gumuguho, siguro mga 5 minutes ‘yun,” she said.
She was with her husband, a tricycle driver, at a terminal in front of the establishment when it happened.
“Nakita ko, may dumungaw sa building, tumatakbo, sumisigaw, nadaganan daw yung kasama nya,” she added.
The building was issued demolition permit on August 2, 2019, according to a placard posted outside the establishment.
In an interview with reporters, Moreno said that he was yet to meet with the management of the establishment.