TWO teenaged sisters were killed while several others were injured when a firewall being used as a common wall by shanty owners fell on them yesterday in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Jun Mabanag, photographer of Remate and Bagong Toro, said that the house where his own child stays was also hit by the collapsing wall. Fortunately, his family members were not home since they went to Bulacan.
The fatalities were identified as Argeline Joy Verina, 15, and her sister Mary Hope, 14, both students. They were rushed to the nearest hospital after the incident but to no avail.
Among those injured were Rommel Ebio, 31, Arnold Gamboa, 35, and a still unidentified man whose one foot reportedly had to be amputated as a result of the accident. They were brought by concerned bystanders to various hospitals by a Philippine Red Cross (PRC) ambulance that resonded to the scene.
Before her death, victim Argeline was reportedly even able to call his father and report what had happened to them. The father told her to hang on.
Police said the said wall measuring about 40 meters high and located at 866 Oroquieta corner Doroteo Streets in Sta.Cruz, Manila, suddenly collapsed at around 7:45 a.m. amid the heavy downpour. Said wall was reportedly what remained of the bookstore which used to stand there and which had been demolished.
Before the collapse, witnesses who were near the area said they heard a strange sound coming from the wall and then it fell on the said shanties right next to it.
It was learned that at least 50 small shanties were built by certain informal settlers in the area, using the said wall, located behind the Manila City Jail, as a common wall. Some reportedly even had second floors.