Makati ‘debris’ incident probed; Aussie victim required surgery
The Makati City government has opened an investigation into Friday’s incident in the central business district where a pedestrian was injured and a vehicle was damaged by falling debris from a hotel that was being demolished.
SPO2 Rico Caramat, the case investigator from the Makati police, said the city building official would also be conducting a parallel investigation into the technical aspects of the incident that sent an Australian national, Suzanne Mellor, to the hospital.
Caramat on Saturday said Mellor was hit in the head and right ankle when a concrete slab from the building that used to be Mandarin Oriental fell as she was walking along Paseo de Roxas around 1 p.m.
In a statement on Saturday, City Hall said that based on a bulletin released by Makati Medical Center, Mellor was due for surgery on her right leg.
Debris also fell on a Toyota Fortuner then being driven by Deborah Escover. The city government said she also had to be admitted to a hospital as the incident left her in “a state of shock.”
“We regret that this accident happened. We have already dispatched our building official and safety engineers to dig into the root cause of the incident, so that precautionary measures can be made for other condemned buildings in the city,” acting Mayor Romulo Peña Jr. said.
Peña, who also ordered the demolition work stopped for the duration of the probe, said the city government would “accede to the findings of city engineers and building official.”
The statement was silent on whether sanctions await liable parties.
According to Caramat, Mellor could file charges for reckless imprudence resulting in injuries while the vehicle owner can sue for damage to property. No complaint has been filed as of press time on Saturday, he said.
“Whoever is responsible for safety during the demolition” may be charged, he added. “Most probably the project manager or the engineer in charge, the one directly handling safety [measures] in JLC Construction, the contractor.”
According to Peña, the city government would be monitoring the condition of the victims and give them “full assistance” through the Makati Social Welfare Department.
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