Mayor Rama tells Cinema owners to check facilities

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Grace II Pecaoco June 16,2015 - 01:25 PM

To ensure the safety of moviegoers and the public, Mayor Michael Rama urged all Cinema owners in Cebu City to check their respective facilities to avoid a repeat of last Monday’s incident when a part of the ceiling of Cinema 5 of Ayala Center Cebu suddenly collapsed in the middle of Dreamscape Networks, a business process outsourcing company (BPO) company that was launching their Company’s new Ad materials, and a video Presentation. Before the screening, employees and guests gathered for a pre-event party at Socials at restobar at the 3rd level of Ayala centers New Wing.

“There’s no need to issue a closure order for now. But I need to call for a meeting with them (cinema owners) to bring up the seriousness of the matter,” Rama told Cebu Daily News over the phone.

WATCH VIDEO LINK: Ayala Cinema Ceiling Falls (Theo Java’s Facebook Video)

The video posted by Theo Java drew over 640,664 views and 7,777 likes as well as 28,430 shares on Facebook as of 2 p.m today, June 16, 2015.

He said he already instructed the Office of the Building Official and the City Engineer’s Office to inspect Cinema 5 of Ayala Center Cebu and to determine the cause of the incident.

“They have to check what really happened. This is a timely warning for concerned individuals to take a look at our civil structures. What happened to Ayala has a message to convey to owners of all movie houses,” the mayor said.

Rama said he’s certain that the management of Ayala Center Cebu is also sending experts to inspect their theaters and find out what happened to the ceiling of Cinema 5.

“I know that with or without me issuing anything, Ayala will do something to fix the problem. They have the best engineers. And I’ll give them the opportunity to perform what they need to do,” he said.

Jeanette Japzon, Corporate Communications Manager of Cebu Holdings Inc., said those who were injured sustained minor cuts and bruises.

“This was the first time that it happened in Ayala, we will investigate to secure the safety and security of all our customers. We already called for a meeting with the management and contractors.”

Japzon told Cebu Daily News that at least nine persons were injured when the ceiling of Cinema 5 collapsed amid a heavy flow of water from a busted sprinkler past 8 p.m. last Monday.

“One had to be rushed to the nearest private hospital for medical attention and stitches.  From the reports of Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) all the rest of the injured had cuts and wounds and were already treated and had undergone X-ray examination, we are now currently waiting for the results.” Japzon said.

“As of the moment, our priority is to ensure the safety of those who were injured,” she added.

About 350 people were inside Cinema 5 for the launching and team building of Dreamscape Networks, a business process outsourcing company.

While the event was going on, water started to pour from the ceiling, said Carlo Florentino, an employee of the company said.

“Nagtuo ko og nag-uwan. (I thought it was raining),” he told the Cebu Daily News.

After about a minute, Florentino said the ceiling collapsed.

Mark Evans, chief executive officer of Dreamscape Networks, expressed disgust over the slow response of the management to the accident.

“This was supposed to be a night of fun. And this is what happened. Today was a disgrace,” he told reporters.

Evans, an Australian, said he will discuss with their lawyers what appropriate charges they will file against Ayala Center Cebu.

“Without a doubt, we will file a case against Ayala. We got photos and videos of the event. We were actually filming the event,” he said.

Evans, who sustained a wound on his finger, said he had to pull some people out of the cinema since it took about 25 minutes before security guards came to the area.

“The emergency response was zero. It was so embarrassing. No one knew what to do. So we, ourselves, began to pull people out. And the steel frames were all over,” he said.

Some of those who managed to go out of the Cinema were soaked wet.

Volunteers of the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation later came to assist employees of Dreamscape Networks.

Japzon told Cebu Daily News,”Monday, June 15, 2015 at around 8:50 p.m. portions of the acoustic board drop and the ceiling fell during an exclusive event at Cinema 5.

We regret that such an incident happened. Based on initial findings, the sprinkler system released water that caused the acoustic boards to fall. We are further investigating the cause.

The mall’s Emergency Brigade Team had immediately responded to clear the area and and those affected were immediately given medical care.

In total, there were nine wounded persons, five of whom are now in the hospital and await medical clearance.

We assure the public that the safety of our customers continues to be a top priority in the mall and we are investigating to prevent recurrence of the incident.” /WITH Senior Reporter ADOR VINCENT S. MAYOL

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TAGS: Ayala, Ayala Malls, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City Mayor, cinema 5, city, injured, mayor, Mayor Mike Rama, Mike Rama, owners

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