Construction halted on car showroom after worker’s death

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita August 29,2014 - 08:47 AM

The Cebu city government yesterday ordered a halt in the construction of a car showroom building in barangay Mambaling after a concrete fence collapsed, killing a laborer and injuring two others last Wednesday evening.

The construction was found to have no appropriate building permit from the City Hall’s Office of the Building Official (OBO).

A notice of illegal construction was issued to Fast Autoworld Philippines Corp. and Julia Menchavez of Venza Lima Construction, the contractor of the project.

“This is to inform you that you have made an illegal construction in violation of Section 301 of the National Building Code (PD 1096),” said the notice.

The accident resulted in the death of construction worker Ronel Suson.

Rescue teams from the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) and the Cebu City’s Command Control Center (C3) recovered Ronel Suson’s remains.

“It took us almost three hours to retrieve the body because it rained and there was a lot of mud,” C3 chief Councilor Dave Tumulak said.

He said rescue teams had to use their hands to shovel the mud and avoid hitting Suson’s body.

Two other workers identified as Stealbert Fernandez, 22 and Elmio Espinosa, 23, of Carcar City were treated for injuries in the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).

Senior Insp. Gerard Soquib, Mambaling police precinct chief, said the accident occurred when Suson, Fernandez and Espinosa were digging a hole near a concrete fence.

Permits

The rains loosened the soil, causing part of the concrete fence to collapse on them.

The OBO ordered the contractor to stop all illegal building activities in their premises and to have representatives contact OBO within three days from the issuance of the notice.

They were also told to secure the necessary building permit from OBO and submit an incident report and construction methodology as well as a soil stabilization methodology.

An inspection done by the City’s Engineering Office yesterday showed that the existing fence of the University of Cebu in Mambaling collapsed due to excavation works being done without embankment or slope protective measures.

“Also the additional pressure due to saturated soil on the opposite side (UC) of the fence which was left unsupported as a result of foundation excavation on the Mitsubishi Autoworld property along rear boundary increases the potential for failure and collapse,” read the inspection report.

Boundaries

The construction of the Mitsubishi Autoworld Building is at the back of the UC building near the Mambaling access road going to the South Road Properties (SRP).

The City Engineer’s Office recommended to provide slope or embankment protective measures such as sheet piles of soldier piles to be installed along boundaries prior to excavation of foundations close to the boundaries where a high fence is standing.

They were also told to demolish the existing high fence near the excavation area and just rebuild a new one once the structure reaches the ground level.

A full time security officer is also required to oversee the enforcement of safety measures.

They were also told to provide proper access ladders, safety signages, barricades, sufficient fixed lighting, safety gears and other pertinent safety requirements in the project site.

“Once we receive their plans for protective measures, we will evaluate it. If it is found sufficient, then we will allow them to construct the protective measure first before we can allow them to resume construction of the main building,” City Engineer and Building Official Jose Marie Poblete said.

Soquib said they are also waiting on Suson’s family to decide if they will file charges against the management. /With Correspondent Chito Aragon

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TAGS: car showroom, death, Misubishi, Mitsubishi Autoworld Building

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