By JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
THE contractor of the multi-purpose covered court which collapsed Tuesday afternoon yesterday promised to reconstruct the damaged structure at no extra cost on the part of the government, a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) official said yesterday.
Engr. Roel Condeza, construction chief of DPWH-10’s 1st Districting Engineering Office, said the contractor, AT Builder and General Merchandise, would shoulder the additional expenses in building the covered court.
The P5.6-million multi-purpose building project, located at Zone 5, Barangay Bonbon, this city, is being built through the initiative of Rep. Rolando Uy of the city’s 1st District.
The covered court’s steel trusses caved in when workers began piling up galvanized iron sheets on top of the structure. The building’s metal posts were also bent due to the collapse.
The incident caused the injury of three workers, one of them in critical condition when iron bars fell on his legs.
Condeza said the contractor would have to clear first the construction site before rebuilding can restart.
“Rebuilding will start as soon as possible,” Condeza said.
Based on the investigation conducted by DPWH engineers and contained in a report, a copy of which was provided to reporters, the arch structure of the building was still “tack welded,” a temporary welding operation which holds the parts in proper alignment temporarily until the final welding works take place.
“This operation (tack weld) is part is part of the construction method of the contractor which is done to ensure dimensional stability or further realignment before the full welding activities,” reads a part of the report.
The successive occurrence of an earthquake a few days ago, the report noted, has also affected the stability of the project.
“During strong tremors, parts of the tack welded structure were (ruptured) which already weakened the structure,” it said.
But the one factor which resulted in the collapse of the building was due to the dead load in which the galvanized iron sheets for roofing were piled at the top center of the trusses with an additional live load of the workers, the report said.
“Unfortunately, the building did not withstand the weight since it’s not yet in the final weld operation,” it added.
Lope Matildo, Bonbon village councilor, has appealed to both the contractor and the DPWH to ensure public safety.
“They must see to it that the multi-purpose building is strong and durable so that no untoward incident will occur. It will be tragic if the structure will collapse when people are already using it. Let’s hope it will not happen again,” Matildo said.