A barangay tanod was killed while 10 others were wounded when an improvised platform being used by volunteers during a dredging and clean-up drive in a pumping station in Ermita, Manila, gave way yesterday.
Alfredo Quijano, a watchman in Bgy. 664, Zone 71 in Ermita, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital where he was brought. Among those wounded were Jenny Soseng, Marilou Silos, Shiela Mati, Jerry Dizon, Ruel de Suloc, Joven Padilla and Edfel Arevalo.
Reportedly, a dredging and clean-up drive was being conducted by personnel from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Manila City government and the barangay when the incident took place at the said pumping station near the Romualdez Bridge in Ermita at around 7:30 a.m.
MMDA Balete Pumping Station Plant Engineer Angeles Bosmente said about 20 volunteers were on top of the said platform removing trash from the creek when it collapsed.
It was learned that usually, such platform could only carry three people and three cubic meters of trash.
Prior to the accident, the volunteers were said to have been forewarned that the platform may not be able to carry their weight but the said warning reportedly went unheeded.
When the platform collapsed, the victims were buried in debris and garbage before they were pulled out by the workers present. Some of the victims were said to be in critical condition while others sustained minor injuries.
Det. Joseph Kabigting of the Manila Police District (MPD)-Crimes Against Persons Investigation Section (CAPIS) is investigating the incident.