9 injured as five-story condo partially collapses in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 31 October) – Nine persons were injured but only one was rushed to the hospital when portions of five-story condominium collapsed during the Magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck at 9:11 a.m. Thursday.

Workers check on the damage in one of the buildings of Ecoland 4000 condominiums. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Capt. Nolan Tagsip, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office, said eight sustained minor injuries and were treated in an onsite ambulance while one was rushed to the hospital due to a laceration wound on the head.

Tagsip said the Himeji Building of the Ecoland Residence 4000 along Ecoland Drive has 56 units but only an estimated 15 units were occupied when the quake happened.

Most of the unit owners had abandoned the building following the Magnitude 6.6 quake at 9:04 a.m. two days earlier, on Tuesday. The quake then registered Intensity 6 in Davao City.

It is not clear how many occupants managed to get out of the building and how many are still trapped inside. Nine persons, however, have been accounted for as “injured.”

Paul Dumlao returned to his Unit 502 on Thursday morning to get some things after Wednesday’s quake forced him and other unit owners to “self abandon” what he said was a structurally unsound building.

Policemen keep the crowd away as workers check on the damage atEcoland 4000. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“We didn’t trust the integrity of the structure,” said Dumlao, who has lived in that unit for about a decade now. He said they noticed cracks in the five-story building after the October 16 Magnitude 6.3 and more after the October 29 Magnitude 6.6 quake, and had in fact reported them to the management.

But safety engineers of the DM Consunji Inc., Dumlao said, repeatedly told them the building was safe.

The City Engineer’s Office, however, gave notice to the building’s owner on Wednesday that it is already not safe for occupancy and that it should be condemned.

Dale John Llanario of Unit 413 said he was roused from sleep by the quake but he and his companions could not get out of the unit because the door got stuck between debris from walls that had collapsed.

He said they broke open some windows to get out of the building.

The city’s 911 responders were quick to reach the area that police immediately cordoned off. Also among the first to arrive was Mayor Sara Duterte, later followed by siblings Paolo, 1st district representative, and Sebastian, the city’s vice mayor.

The police identified the “rescued wounded” as Catley Ubas, 27 (head injury); Naser Inog, 27 (minor injury on right hand); Baswil Ledya (minor hand injury); Park Jung O, a Korean national, 61 (minor head injury); Christian Vicente; Ledy A. Notarte, 60 (head injury).

“Death and/or Missing is not yet determined. Rescue Teams are still conducting rescue operations. Six vehicles were destroyed,” the DCPO progress report “re collapse of Ecoland 4000 condo” as of 11:30 a.m. said. (Manman Dejeto with a report by Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)