Two construction workers died and another was injured after a Hotel Sogo branch that was being demolished in Malate, Manila collapsed prematurely on Monday morning.
The dead were identified as Jerome Fabello and Melo Ison, whose brother Edson was also injured in the collapse and was rushed to the Philippine General Hospital.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso, who rushed to the site along with police and fire officials, announced the casualties on Monday afternoon.
Nineteen other workers on the site, according to a list provided by Barangay 701 where the hotel was located, were secure, Domagoso added.
The mayor’s chief of staff, Cesar Chavez, said the building caved in at around 9:30 a.m., as one of the floors could not bear the weight of the debris from the demolition.
Workers and residents in nearby buildings in the area were surprised, and some scrambled for cover.
Melo Ison’s body was retrieved first from the rubble, while Fabello’s was extracted beneath cement beams at around 4 p.m. Rescuers used crane trucks to move the debris, but were careful to keep the structure from falling further.
Domagoso said authorities have placed the demolition on hold, which started on Aug. 2 according to the permit that hung from its facade. Once the building is safe to be struck down again, the city government will lift the suspension.
The mayor also said he will ask the Manila City Engineering Office to probe the crash.