MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – Two construction workers were declared dead and one of their colleagues were injured after a Hotel Sogo branch in Malate, Manila, prematurely collapsed as it was undergoing demolition on Monday, September 23.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced the casualty count on Monday afternoon while speaking to reporters at the crash site. Moreno was one of the first to rush to the crash scene after he was informed by police and fire officials.
The dead have been identified as Jerome Fabello and Melo Ison. Ison's brother Edson was injured by the collapse and was rushed to the Philippine General Hospital.
According to the list released by Barangay 701, which covers the budget hotel, a total of 22 construction men were working on the demolition. The 19 others have been secured, Moreno said.
How did it happen? Moreno's chief-of-staff Cesar Chavez said the collapse happened inside, with one of the floors falling from the weight of debris of demolition.
Police recorded the incident to have occurred at around 9:30 am. The collapse startled workers and residents in nearby buildings in the semi-commercial and semi-residential area.
The body of Melo Ison was retrieved from the rubble at around 3 pm, while Fabello was pulled out at around 5:45 pm.
Rescuers employed crane trucks for the extractions, digging slower than they had wanted as a wrong hit of their tools could lead to further collapse of the battered building.
WATCH: One man recovered from the rubble of the collapsed Hotel Sogo here in Malate, Manila. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/n6UkIUyiEs — Rambo Talabong (@ramboreports) September 23, 2019
Demolition turns deadly: The building has been placed on demolition notice since August 2, according to the permit to demolish that hung from its barely standing facade.
Moreno said authorities have placed the demolition on hold.
Once Fabello's body has been retrieved and once the building is safe to be struck down again, they will lift the halt order.
Prompted by a reporter's question, Moreno said he will order the Manila City Engineering Office to launch a probe into the crash. – Rappler.com