Three people were killed and 2 were injured after the demolished Philam Life Building collapsed in Ermita, Manila on Saturday.
Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office head Arnel Angeles confirmed the deaths of 3 men in the building along Maria Orosa Street and United Nations Avenue.
At around 11 a.m. Saturday, the basement and first floor of the 6-story building, formerly the Philam Life Building, collapsed.
Of the 5 people trapped, 2 were rescued on Saturday night.
Authorities conducted a retrieval operation overnight and this Sunday morning, the bodies of the 3 remaining victims were recovered.
The cause of the Philam Life Building collapse is still being determined but according to investigator Capt. Henry Navarro of the Manila Police District Homicide Section, the contractor, and subcontractor would be responsible.
“Kung makita natin na in the course ng kanilang operation, may nakitang kapabayaan, maari silang maging liable through reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and serious physical injuries. File natin ang subcontractor at safety officer,” said Navarro.
(If we see that in the course of their operation, negligence is detected, they may be liable through reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides and serious physical injuries. We file the subcontractor and safety officer.)
3 dead after Philam Life Building collapsed in Manila
Police are wondering why 5 pm or 6 hours have passed before the collapse was reported to them.
According to Angeles, the ground on which the building stands may have softened due to the rain, so it tilted the middle of the quarry.
The demolition of the Philam Life Building was suspended while the investigation was conducted, Angeles said.
The contractor and subcontractor promised to help the victims’ families.
“Willing naman sila na lahat ng damage sa mga kamag-anak, willing sila tulungan,” said Aleyah Bidua, chairperson of Barangay 670.
ABS-CBN News tried to take the side of SM Development Corp. (SMDC) but they have no statement yet.
SMDC first said last year that they planned to replicate the “iconic facade” of the Philam Life Building with the new building to be constructed, still using the original materials.
ABS-CBN News went to the subcontractor’s house to get a statement but it said no one was authorized to speak to the media.