Crane topples cars, electric posts; 2 hurt

Photo: DZRH Willie Tiongson
Photo: DZRH Willie Tiongson

Two people were hurt when a giant tower crane at a private construction site collapsed and fell on passing vehicles on H.V. Dela Costa Street in Makati City Thursday morning.

Cab driver Ramon Romirosa, 40, showed signs of spinal injury, while cyclist Romeo Lopez, 40, suffered pain on left shoulder and abrasions on the knees and elbows.

A report from Station Investigation and Detective Management Branch (SIDMB) of Makati City police said the victims were immediately brought to the nearby Makati Medical Center (MMC) for treatment.

A.M. Oreta Construction Company, the contractor on the Salcedo SkySuites building (a Megaworld Corporation project) where the incident happened, promised to shoulder the medical expenses.

The incident also caused inconvenience to residents as the crane toppled two telecommunication poles, five electric posts and some high tension wires, knocking out power in Salcedo and Urdaneta villages.

Meralco said the repair of damaged equipment took more than five hours.

Traffic personnel had to close to traffic the entire H.V. Dela Costa corner Tordesillas streets for hours for the clearing operations.

“We would like to apologize for those affected by this accident,” A.M. Oreta said in a statement.

As of this writing, the cause of the incident is still unknown but the company assured it is coordinating with probers to determine why the crane collapsed.

“We are currently conducting our own investigation on the cause of the collapse we are also cooperating with authorities on the conduct of their own investigation,” it said.

Meanwhile, Makati Mayor City Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr. directed the Office of the Building Official (OBO) to immediately order A.M. Oreta to halt all operations on the building while the investigation is underway.

“We are determined to establish what exactly went wrong and who should be liable for the unfortunate incident. Although nobody died, still there were people injured. Public safety is the foremost concern of the city government, and we will not tolerate negligence and non-compliance with our construction laws and standards,” Peña said.

On the Mayor’s orders, the OBO immediately deployed two teams, from the mechanical and enforcement sections, to the site to conduct a thorough investigation on the incident.

OBO Enforcement Unit officer-in-charge Engr. Julio Cepeda said the investigation will focus on finding out whether or not all standard operating procedures have been observed, and what caused the tower crane to fall.

Peña also pledged assistance to the two victims. (MJD)

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