Worker dies after falling inside coal plant in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 21 Apr) – A sub-contract worker of Therma South Inc. (TSI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp., died Wednesday afternoon after he fell three floors high inside the first unit of the 300-MW coal-fired power plant.

“Therma South regrets to confirm that an accident occurred inside its baseload power plant in Binugao Toril last Wednesday, April 20, 2016. The accident resulted to the death of an employee of a sub-contractor,” TSI’s statement reads.

According to Davao City Police Office (DCPO), the victim was identified as Jonathan Onde Pajelleno, 35, married, of Toledo City who was residing temporarily at Purok 5, Brgy. Lizada in Toril.

Pajelleno was working for Boyi Wantong, a sub-contractor of FHI-True North Manufacturing Services Corp. which reports to Therma South.

Based on the police report, the victim was helping a co-worker dismantle at the sixth floor of TSI 1’s Bolier building at the sixth floor when he lost his balance, falling to the railings at the fourth floor before he dropped on the third floor.

The victim was immediately rushed to the Davao Mediquest Hospital in Toril but failed to get there alive.

“Therma South and its contractors are presently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the accident and to ensure that safety guidelines are reinforced. The company is also closely coordinating with authorities who are looking into the incident,” the TSI statement added.

In an interview on Wednesday, DCPO spokesperson Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz said that authorities are still conducting investigation as to who was at fault in the incident or whether the victim wore safety gear.

Wilfredo Rodolfo III, communications manager of Aboitiz Power Corp., told MindaNews that they are coordinating with Pajelleno’s employer regarding the incident and assisting the authorities in the investigation.

He said they are checking on how many employees that the coal plant has so far hired.

The 300-MW coal-fired power plant was inaugurated on January 8, 2016 as a response to resolve the power crisis in Mindanao.

In his message during the inauguration, Erramon Aboitiz, president of Aboitiz Power, said the company invested P35 billion for the construction of the coal plant and, during its peak, hired 4,5000 local workers.