Building being demolished collapses, 3 workers dead

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    THREE workers were pinned to death after a portion of the six-storey Philam Life building at the corner of UN Ave. and Maria Orosa St. in Manila being demolished collapsed on Saturday.

    Two other workers survived and were rescued by authorities.

    “Emergency responders were able to rescue two victims early in the night. But at around 8 a.m. this morning, the first of the bodies came out,” Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office Director Arnel Angeles said.

    At past 11 a.m. yesterday, Angeles said operations are “still ongoing to excavate the rest of the bodies under all the rubble.”

    He said rescue and emergency responders are digging cautiously so as not to upset the integrity of the structure that, he added, was “clearly leaning over five degrees in one direction.”

    The demolition job was put on hold.

    The Manila Police Department has yet to release the names of the victims and the identities of the contractor and subcontractor as of press time.

    The building’s basement and first floor collapsed at past 11 a.m. Saturday but the MPD said it was only reported to them at past 5 p.m. the same day.

    MPD Homicide Section chief Capt. Henry Navarro said they are investigating the incident.

    Navarro said they are probing the possible liability of the contractor and subcontractor of the building’s demolition, adding they face the possibility of facing reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and serious physical injuries.