TWO were said to have died while two were said to have been injured when the five-storey Sogo Hotel on A. Mabini Street in Manila collapsed yesterday morning reportedly while undergoing demolition.
Sketchy information said that one of the injured, identified as Edson Ison, was a construction worker. He got hit by falling debris, jumped while the collapse was ongoing and then was rushed to the Philippine General Hospital.
As of this writing, search and rescue operations are being done for the two other construction workers —Jeromie Fabello and Ison’s brother Melo—who were trapped. Initial reports say that the two were seen still moving via a drone although unconfirmed reports say they have died.
Manila Police District Director Vicente Danao, Jr. said that the unfortunate incident took place at around 9:15 a.m. while 32 construction workers were still inside the said building.
Mayor Isko Moreno rushed to the scene and then tasked City Engineer Armand Andres to conduct an investigation into the incident.
A vendor who witnessed everything told the police that he saw how the building slowly collapsed inward.
It was learned that the building had a demolition permit whose effectivity is August 2, 2019 and that the building used to house the Empire Hotel that was built in 1965. It is being demolished reportedly to give way to a taller Sogo Hotel.
Meanwhile, Moreno suspended afternoon classes and work in city hall in observance of the 27th National Family Week.
The 2 p.m. suspension covered all public and private schools within Manila, along with city employees aside from those who are involved in the rescue operations at the Sogo Hotel site in Malate.