Were you among the many who got caught in slow-moving, heavy traffic along the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) heading towards Muntinlupa this past Saturday? On the morning of November 21, a tragic accident happened that effectively delayed the completion of the Skyway Extension Project from December 2020 to February 2021.
According to a PTV News report, a steel girder from the Skyway Extension Project fell down at the East Service Road in Barangay Cupang, Muntinlupa City, which was caused by the crane (of project contractor EEI Corporation) that fell on its side as it moved to its next position. According to a Manila Bulletin report, the steel girder fell on several vehicles causing the death of motorcyclist Edison Visaga Paquibot and injuring others.
The local police stated that the vehicles that got damaged by the steel girder include a Mitsubishi Adventure, a Toyota Vios taxis, a Hyundai H100, a Suzuki Raider motorcycle, a Yamaha Mio motorcycle and a Honda Beat motorcycle. The casualties were rushed to different hospitals for emergency treatment. Unsurprisingly, traffic along the East Service Road had to be closed off temporarily which complicated the flow of traffic.
Today, as published through the Facebook page of the City Government of Muntinlupa, San Miguel Corporation President and CEO Ramon S. Ang issued a personal apology and assured victims of the mishap that they will receive help. The published apology reads as follows:
Following the freak accident at the Skyway Extension project site in Cupang, Muntinlupa over the weekend, the head of concession holder San Miguel Corporation (SMC) issued an apology to the victims and assured them that the company would make sure all their needs would be taken care of, and more.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said that even while project contractor EEI Corporation was the one handling the construction of the project, as project proponent, SMC has a responsibility to take care of the victims.
“Even with a contractor handling construction, ultimately, we are responsible for the welfare of those who were affected. I would like to personally apologize to the victims and their families, as well as to our larger community in Muntinlupa,” Ang said.
The accident, reported to have been caused by a crane that tipped over as it moved into position, which then hit a steel girder causing it to fall on six vehicles, resulted in one fatality and four injuries.
“This terrible and tragic accident has affected me in ways I can’t even begin to express. I have not stopped thinking about the people who were affected, the four that were injured and most especially, the person who perished, and his family. There are no words that can ease the grief of losing a loved one,” Ang said.
“To the family, I can only offer my sincerest and deepest condolences, and my personal assurance that your family will be taken care of. To those who were injured, please be assured we will provide all the means necessary for you to recover and restart,” he added.
Ang also vowed that the incident will be investigated thoroughly, and that SMC and its contractor EEI will make sure even stricter measures are in place at the project site.
“In a project of this magnitude and scale, there are many redundant safety measures in place. Unfortunately, we can’t predict every outcome, and I’m sure no one wanted this to happen,” Ang said.
“Regardless, we are working with authorities to determine the root cause of this incident. We will find out where lapses occurred and do whatever is necessary to help make sure they don’t happen again.”
Source: SMC Media Affairs
For its part, contractor EEI management made assurances that they will take care of all the needs of those who were affected.
At this point of time, motorists who planned to travel north via the Skyway Extension Project will either have to wait until February 2021 or adjust their travel plans.
Come back here for the next update about the Skyway.
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